Last season, by Bronco standards, will go down as a disappointment. The Broncos players, Broncos coaches and supporters expected a lot more from their team in 2022. The Broncos fans always expect a lot from their players and 2023 will not be any different. Broncos started really well in 2022, then they lost their way, but I don’t think this will happen again this year.
The key movement for the Broncos comes in who they have gained. The signing of Reece Walsh 2023 looks promising, especially with his performances in the trials. He is a super talent, I can’t wait to watch him back at the Broncos colours in 2023.
The team also lost a handful of players, including Jamayne Isaako (mid-way through 2022 to the Titans, and now to the Dolphins) and Tyson Gamble to the Knights. These players will certainly be missed, but if you compare the losses other teams have experienced, the Broncos haven’t lost that many key players.
Ins: Jock Madden, Martin Taupau and Reece Walsh
Outs: Tyson Gamble, Zac Hosking, Jamayne Isaako, Ryan James, Rhys Kennedy, Brenko Lee, Te Maire Martin, David Mead, Tesi Niu and Jake Turpin
Key Player: Kurt Capewell
Capewell has developed into a leader for the Broncos. He shows leadership both off and on the field and I think he will be a big plus for the Broncos if they are to be successful in 2023. He is coming into his second season with the Broncos and will be looking to build on his performance from last season. Capewell played 19 games last season, won nine and lost 10.
Rising Star: Brendan Piakura
I remember watching Piakura play years ago as a junior has all the attributes to be a star, a very talented back rower. He has only played two NRL games, one in 2021 and another 2022, but this could very well be his breakout year. The 20-year-old had a good season in the QLD Premiership in 2022, playing 13 games, scoring six tries, running 1,222 metres, with five line breaks and offloads.
5 Key Matches To Watch
Match 1: Round 1, vs Panthers, at BlueBet Stadium (Fri, Mar 3, 8:05pm)
Match 2: Round 2, vs Cowboys, at Suncorp Stadium (Fri, Mar 10, 8:05pm)
Match 3: Round 8, vs Eels, at TIO Stadium (Fri, Apr 21, 8pm)
Match 4: Round 9, vs Rabbitohs, at Suncorp Stadium (Fri, Apr 28, 8pm)
Match 5: Round 27, vs Storm, at Suncorp Stadium (Thu, Aug 31, 7:50pm)
2023 NRL Season Expectations
It’s tricky to place where the Broncos will finish this season. A lot of how they are expected to go will depend on Walsh, and how well he will integrate with his new squad. The forward pack will need to ensure they remain as physical as possible, and if they can do that, the Broncos could be a force to be reckoned with. Can they finish top four? Probably not. But a spot in the top eight is certainly achievable, they just can’t implode like they did in the final few games of last season.