Wally’s king hit: Broncos debacle ‘as low as it gets’
"The King" Wally Lewis says losing the respect of the Broncos faithful is "as low as it gets" after Queensland's flagship team were booed from the field on Saturday night.
Trailing 22-nil after the opening half, the Broncos left the field to a cacophony of boos and jeers from 6262 spectators, while an image of Anthony Seibold on the big screen also drew a similar reaction.
Brisbane fans eventually left disappointed for a fifth straight week after Titans prevailed 30-12 at Suncorp Stadium.
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Dubbed "The Emperor of Lang Park", Lewis was stunned at the performance and described the scenes on Saturday night as a new low for the club.
"Very rarely have we experienced fans at Suncorp Stadium booing their home team," Lewis said.
"When that happens, I think you can understand that things cannot get much lower.
"Queenslanders very rarely turn on their own but Saturday night's performance was disappointing.
"It's a fair indication that if you've had the loyal fans turn on you, it's about as low as it gets.
"That's a level of disappointment that does not get much worse than that."
Lewis, one of the best players to grace Red Hill, said fans were justifiably upset by the Broncos because their form had barely improved in the past month.
"It was just shattering," he said. "There was no confidence in the team.
"It was very disappointing to watch. It's been the case for the last few weeks.
"It was just another very extremely disappointing performance. It's very hard to say it any other way."
The players were also well aware of the Broncos supporters' halftime reaction as they ran into the sheds.
Former Broncos captain Darius Boyd said he understood their pain and they deserved better from the players.
"I feel for the fans," Boyd said.
"People came out to watch the game for the first time.
"With their hard-earned money they want to come and watch the club play and they deserved to go home with a better performance from us.
"It's very disappointing (to be booed). It hurts.
"My family was there and the boys' families were there for the first time after the coronavirus [stand down] and it was just disappointing to send them home with a performance like that."
Boyd went further saying changes need to be made at the club "in a hurry" to have any hope of climbing out of the NRL doldrums as forward Joe Ofahengaue faces a three-game ban for a shoulder charge.
According to Fox Sports Stats, the 92 points the Broncos have scored this season is their lowest total after seven rounds since 1999.
They have conceded 209 - the most in the club's NRL history after seven rounds.
To add to their woes, Saturday's result was their worst ever losing margin against the Gold Coast - last season's wooden spooners.
Ofahengaue is set to pay the price for a late hit on Sam Lisone. He will miss two weeks with an early guilty plea but will serve a third game if he fights the grade-one charge at the judiciary and loses.
Five straight losses is Brisbane's worst losing streak since 2012, and Boyd - the Broncos' most experienced player - admitted things had to change before this weekend's clash with the Warriors.
"The staff and players, we're the only ones who can get ourselves out of it," he told Fox League.
"We need to start next week and we need to start in a hurry.
"It's tough times no doubt about it. We need to change and we need to change in a hurry."
When asked if the players were backing Seibold, Boyd said, "we just need to stick strong as a group".
"He's probably not the only one copping criticism and it affects all of us.
"The most disappointing thing is getting booed off at halftime.
"In the first two rounds before the stoppage we were playing really well and for each other. Nothing has changed.
"The team hasn't changed. The strategies haven't changed. The game plan hasn't changed.
"Whether it's our mindset and attention to detail in a few key areas, maybe. That is something that we can control in house and we are going to have to do that."
Ofahengaue's charge is symptomatic of Brisbane's season.
They have been the most ill-disciplined team in the competition, conceding 7.7 penalties per game.
The Broncos have now had eight players charged in the opening seven rounds, including Corey Oates who faces a fine for abusing referee Peter Gough during the loss to the Titans.
That total is the highest of any club in the NRL this year.
If Ofahengaue takes his early guilty plea it will mean Broncos players have already missed nine games this year through on-field bans.
There was some relief for Brisbane, with forward Matt Lodge cleared of a serious leg injury after he was carried from the field. He expected to be fit to play the Warriors.
Kangaroo coach Mal Meninga called the Broncos "a club in crisis" who were "a little rudderless'' at the moment.
Former Broncos hooker Michael Ennis was even more critical.
"There need to be a lot of questions asked," Ennis said.
"They signed a guy who had had one season as a head coach at South Sydney where he had a tremendous list full of wonderful players like Greg Inglis and Sam Burgess.
"He has gone to Brisbane and there have been some really poor decisions made. They invested in him. not for one but five years. The club is completely off the rails". - with AAP
Originally published as Wally's king hit: Broncos debacle 'as low as it gets'