Test back-rower Matt Gillett says Brisbane must get their heads right at kick-off to topple Manly at Brookvale Oval.
Milestone man Matt Gillett has attributed an attitude problem to the Broncos’ spate of slow NRL starts.
Brisbane have found themselves down 12-0 in the opening 15 minutes of their last three matches – losing to Penrith and Melbourne, but recovering against the Warriors.
Now sitting eighth and facing a tough run into the play-offs, Anthony Griffin’s team must quickly fix the problem to stay in finals contention.
Against the Panthers they were immediately on the back foot, conceding two converted tries in the first eight minutes.
It was 10 minutes at home against the Warriors.
On Friday night, they were better in defence but still went 12 behind after a quarter-hour as the Storm enjoyed 84 per cent of early possession.
Gillett blamed it as the main reason for the loss, even though Brisbane fought back to 12-4 at halftime before crashing 30-8.
The Australian and Queensland back-rower said it was crucial to improve their early focus ahead of Friday night’s clash with pacesetters Manly at Brookvale Oval.
“It’s just a group thing, it’s an attitude thing,” he admitted on Monday.
“We talk about it every week but we haven’t been able to get the start we want.
“Definitely this week it will be necessary to get a good start and go from there, so there’s a focus on that.”
Manly will also be looking to come out of the blocks better after conceding a try to Warriors centre Konrad Hurrell in the first 70 seconds at Mt Smart Stadium on Sunday.
The Sea Eagles did recover to go on and win 22-12 to extend their competition lead to four points.
This next three-week block will be a major test of the Broncos’ credentials with top-four sides Canterbury and South Sydney to follow.
They have traditionally struggled against Manly but did beat an injury-hit Sea Eagles 36-10 in their last meeting on June 1 and have won two of their four visits to Brookvale since 2006.
For Gillett, it will be a special moment, playing his 100th NRL match after being a late-bloomer who came through the Queensland Cup to make his debut in 2010.
“I never thought I’d be playing first grade,” the 25-year-old said. “I was just looking for an opportunity and now I’ve got 100 games I’m pretty happy and hope there’s a lot more to come.”