Brisbane utility Todd Lowrie says there’s little doubt Friday’s trip to the NRL leaders is going to be a huge test for the Broncos.

EDS: please note language in fifth paragraph

By Ed Jackson

GOLD COAST, July 30 AAP – When it comes to away days, it’s pretty clear Manly’s Brookvale Oval isn’t high on Todd Lowrie’s must-visit list.

The Brisbane utility says there’s little doubt Friday’s trip to the NRL leaders is going to be a huge test for the Broncos.

The Sea Eagles have won nine straight at their home ground since being pipped by a point by Melbourne in the opening round, a run which has played a large part in their climb to the top of the competition.

Lowrie says there’s no one reason why Brookvale is such an intimidating place for opposition teams to visit.

“Everything about it. It’s a s***hole really,” he told AAP.

“The field’s heavy and muddy and boggy. I’m surprised they let us play on it sometimes.

“The sheds are crap and the fans are right on you. I really do love the fact they’ve still got the hill and the crowd’s right involved … but it’s probably everything else about it.

“It’s a pain in the arse to get to on the bus … she’s certainly one of the more daunting road trips in the NRL.”

Both the Sea Eagles and Broncos have had to handle off-field turmoil in recent weeks with several of Manly’s leading stars apparently wanting out of the club while Brisbane is still coming to terms with the decision to replace coach Anthony Griffin at season’s end with Wayne Bennett.

While Manly’s dramas appear to have had little affect on their performance, the Broncos came unstuck last weekend at home against the Storm.

Lowrie says there needs to be a significant improvement if the Broncos are to head back to Queensland with the two competition points.

“We’ve just got to get better all around. Our attack was ordinary, we defended well in the first half but just allowed Melbourne to have too much possession,” Lowrie said.

“We’ve got to improve all over the place. Our defence has got to be better. Our attack has got to be better.

“We’ve been 12-0 down for the past two or three games in a row and it’s not until then that we’ve decided to get going for some reason. I don’t know what that is.

“I don’t know how we address that but it’s too hard a competition to be giving teams 12-point head starts before you try to kick into gear and start playing some footy.”


* Brisbane has won five times at Brookvale in 15 games

* Last time: Manly beat Brisbane 16-6 in round 25, 2012

* Last win: Brisbane beat Manly 22-6 in round 13, 2010

* Manly have a nine win, one loss record at home this season

* Sea Eagles have won nine straight at Brookvale since losing to Melbourne in opening round