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No excuses for Broncos after Warriors loss

NZN 27/05/2017 Angelo Risso

Nobody knows the impact of a State of Origin series on Brisbane's NRL team better than Wayne Bennett.

But the Broncos boss has refused to use the absence of six star Queensland players as an excuse for his side's insipid 28-10 loss to the Warriors on Kiwi soil.

Playmaker Anthony Milford, skipper Darius Boyd, bullish second-rower Matt Gillett, veteran Sam Thaiday, forward Josh McGuire and winger Corey Oates all missed the side's trans-Tasman trip ahead of Wednesday's Origin series opener.

Among the Broncos' finest players, the sextet was sorely missed in Auckland as the Warriors dominated proceedings from pillar to post and ran in five tries to two.

Yet Bennett - who has coached Queensland to four Origin gongs himself - still put the boot into his second-string troops for an error-strewn and loose display.

The Broncos made an uncharacteristic 46 missed tackles at Mount Smart Stadium, while also struggling to break through a typically meek Warriors defence.

The presence of bona fide NRL stars like Benji Marshall, Ben Hunt, Jordan Kahu and Adam Blair also failed to turn the tide in Brisbane's favour.

"The Broncos haven't built their reputation on that stuff," Bennett said.

"We've had this situation for 31 years - no-one's provided more players than the Broncos to State of Origin, so no-one knows the impact it has on the club better than I do.

"But we've never used it as an excuse, we're not now, and we've got better players than that in that team, (so) we should've played better than what we did."

Despite their loss in Auckland, the Broncos remain comfortably inside the top four after 12 games, thanks to the Dragons' bye round.

Yet they may not stay there if the side's stand-in players - likely to be required until at least mid-July - don't shape up quickly, Bennett said.

They'll take on the Roosters and Rabbitohs in the next two weeks.

"We've all been there before, we've got a strong squad, we just didn't get it right here tonight," Bennett said.

"It's a battle for us."

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