NRL 2022: Adam Reynolds backs Broncos as they recover from brutal 60-12 loss to Melbourne Storm

Despite a humiliating loss on the eve of the Finals, Adam Reynolds says the Broncos are not an exhausted force in 2022 with two competitive games on the horizon.

Adam Reynolds insists the Broncos can bounce back from their Storm humiliation as coach Kevin Walters urged a struggling Brisbane not to ruin their 2022 resurgence.

The Broncos were unmasked as contenders for the NRL premiership in a 60-12 win by Melbourne at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, missing 41 tackles and making 11 errors in a terrible display.

The 48-point drubbing was Brisbane’s 12th straight loss to bogey team Melbourne and their heaviest loss ever against the Storm, eclipsing the 50-4 hammering in 2005.

The Broncos lacked defensive commitment, looked slow and unimaginative against an emerging Storm team superbly led by Spine superstars Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant.

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After suffering three losses in their last four games, the Broncos will need to beat either the Eels or the Dragons in the last two weeks of the regular season to secure a berth in the finals against the drought.

Even then, they face an exit in the first week unless Walters can conjure a miracle turnaround at Red Hill, so dramatic has the Broncos’ slide been since a seven-game midseason winning streak.

Despite the growing cracks in the Broncos, Captain Reynolds insisted hope is not lost and Brisbane can strike back a fortnight after the play-offs, starting with Thursday’s home game against Parramatta.

“We have to look ahead and use this disappointment as motivation,” he said.

“It always feels like shit sitting in the dressing room when you know you haven’t done your job. Now it’s about moving forward.

“We can fight back. We still have two weeks left in this competition and these are games we absolutely must win.

“When it’s games you absolutely have to win, you have to perform. It will be interesting to see how we react, I’m sure we will.

“I know I’m hungry to turn things around and get our season back to where it should be. I’m sure the boys have the same feeling.”

Such a loss is brewing for the Broncos, who were shocked by the bottom-seeded Tigers in Round 20 and have been unresponsive except for a dusty win over the struggling Knights last weekend.

The storm shellacking prompted Walters to hold an honesty session in Suncorp’s guts, and hooker Jake Turpin said the Broncos are determined not to throw away their 2020-21 season after two shocking years.

“We talked in the sheds about not going through the whole year and getting ourselves in a place to play the final and then letting it all down with some terrible performances like that,” he said.

“We’ve got two tough games ahead of us against Parramatta and the Dragons so hopefully we’ll find good form in the next few weeks and get to the finals.

“When you get beaten by a sizeable crowd like we did, a lot depends on your mentality which goes into the game. We all know how good the Storm are and they’re even better when they come here, it’s the biggest game of the year for them coming to Suncorp. Our defense just didn’t show up.

“I can’t explain what happened. I know Pat Carrigan (suspended) runs our defense and is helping us out there, but there are 17 guys out there who can all do that job and we just didn’t do it, which is disappointing.

“I’m embarrassed. It’s embarrassing for the fans and it’s embarrassing for the rest of the week, we have to turn it against Parramatta next week and I hate walking around town and our fans and members with such a performance in the to let down.

“The only thing I can promise is that we’ll get back to training and try to reverse that against the Eels very quickly.”

In another blow for Brisbane, backrower Kurt Capewell (ankle) races against the Eels while center Herbie Farnworth (biceps) is unwilling to return.


Shocked Broncos coach Kevin Walters insists his team’s confidence has not been irreparably shaken after the embarrassing 12-60 loss to the Storm.

Seemingly final certainties a month ago, the Broncos were thrown into a desperate fight to salvage their season — and their playoff hopes — after being torn apart by the storm in a 10-to-two mauling at Suncorp Stadium.

The Broncos conceded just 60 points in a game for the second time in their 34-year history and must defeat the Eels at Suncorp next Thursday night to officially earn a place in the Finals.

Brisbane’s defense collapsed last month and while stunned by the demolition, Walters is confident his side can pick up the pieces to qualify for the playoffs.

“I’m not nervous about it (reaching the finals),” Walters said.

“Even after this disappointment, I have great confidence in this group and what they can do.

“I expect a good reaction from our guys next week.

“I’m quite surprised with the result, the lads worked hard but we didn’t have the resilience to stop the storm.

“Every week you learn something about yourself and we learn something new every week.

“We have to get on with things, we have two games left and we have to do our best to bounce back next week.”

In another blow to the Broncos, key back rower Kurt Capewell has twisted his ankle and is doubtful for next week’s clash against the Eels.

The Broncos have lost three of their last four games and have faced stinging reality checks from big guns Storm and Roosters over the past three weeks.

Champion skipper Adam Reynolds is adamant the Broncos’ season wasn’t derailed by drubbing in Melbourne.

“We were really into it in the first part of the game, we just couldn’t stop the momentum, it was quite disappointing,” he said.

“We have to look ahead and use this disappointment as motivation.

“A performance like that makes you sick in the dressing room. We can recover, there are still two weeks to go, we need to recover and I’m sure we can do it.

“I’m hungry to turn things around and get the site back on track.”

The Broncos’ shortcomings are exposed by a brutal storm

Brisbane face a nervous final fortnight to book a place in the top eight after the raging storm dealt a brutal reality check for the finals with a 60-12 win over the woeful Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

Ahead of 42,612, Brisbane’s bogey team returned to cause more misery, sending the Broncos to their 12th straight loss to the Storm and their worst loss to Melbourne.

Melbourne’s best win to date against Brisbane was 50-4 at the Olympic Park in 2005 – but that 48-point cut was even more emphatic.

It was a wild Suncorp scam from the storm, which benefited from the return of Jahrome Hughes (shoulder) as star halfback, who linked with Harry Grant and Cameron Munster to slice and dice the Broncos.

The Storm stormed out of the blocks and stormed 24-6 at halftime before earning their highest score yet against the Broncos as they celebrated half a century in a 10-for-two try.

Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership season live and ad-free during gameplay on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

After searching for the certainties of the finals a month ago, the faltering Broncos – fourth after 19 rounds – are suddenly glancing nervously over their shoulders.

If the Roosters (26 points) beat the Wests Tigers and Parramatta (28) have Canterbury, Brisbane (28) will finish the weekend eighth on percentage terms, two wins ahead of ninth-placed Canberra, who play Newcastle on Sunday.

The Broncos meet the Eels at home and the Dragons (away) in their last two games next Thursday night and need to win at least one of them to ensure they play finals football.


The menacing Melbourne machine played like a perennial Premiership contender; the Broncos wobbled like title contenders.

Brisbane’s resurgence this season should be lauded but they need a quick turnaround in form to get through the first week of the finals – if they can.

Your defenses have collapsed. That was embarrassing. The Broncos have missed more than 180 tackles in the past five weeks and risk limping into the Finals with question marks over their defensive resilience.

Playing with more energy and intensity, the Storm ripped Brisbane apart in midfield through Brandon Smith and Grant who tumbled to make it 30-6 in the 43rd minute before a double from Justin Olam buried the awkward Brisbane.


Sturmrake Grant demonstrated everything the Broncos are missing when it comes to backpacks. While Jake Turpin and Billy Walters are performers at heart, Grant is just class and he chopped up the Broncos with his cunning and vision. Cameron Smith’s successor can lead Melbourne to another title.


Brisbane need more of starting supports Payne Haas and Tom Flegler if they want to challenge in September.

Haas started the season brilliantly, but since injuring both shoulders midseason, he’s struggled to make the same impact and was held at 81 yards — his second-worst performance of the season.

Flegler (58 yards) from the front row also passed out as the Storm’s pumped-up forwards rumbled through midfield like the heavy roller in the Gabba. Not a single Broncos forward managed 100 yards.


Brisbane’s five-eighth Ezra Mam had the worst game of his young NRL career as the Melbourne monster marginally resembled Nelson Asofa-Solomona Mal Meninga.

In a tactical feat, Asofa-Solomona was stationed wide out terrorizing several Broncos, most notably 19-year-old Mam, who missed five tackles as Big Nelson destroyed Brisbane with 177 yards, eight tackle busts and two offloads.

Not even Nelson’s goofy no-look flick pass that gave Broncos backrower Kurt Capewell the easiest try of his career in the 12th minute could take the shine off a magical Melbourne masterclass.

Alarm bells are ringing for Brisbane.

Originally released as NRL 2022 Adam Reynolds helps Broncos recover from brutal 60-12 loss to Melbourne Storm NRL 2022: Adam Reynolds backs Broncos as they recover from brutal 60-12 loss to Melbourne Storm

Nate Jones

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