Broncos out to silence critics: Ofahengaue

Laine Clark
Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue (r) admits an NRL win "would be a bonus" against Melbourne

Even Joe Ofahengaue agrees that Brisbane will be given no chance in Friday's NRL clash with heavyweights Melbourne.

But the forward says being billed as underdogs will motivate the battling Broncos to prove the critics wrong.

Brisbane are still smarting from their last round 48-0 mauling by Wests Tigers - their seventh loss in eight games.

And there appears to be no relief in sight against an in-form Storm who have not lost to the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium since 2009.

Ofahenague understands why Brisbane have been written off, with one bookmaker rating them as $10 outsiders against a third-placed Melbourne seeking a fifth straight win.

But the Tonga international insists they will use the criticism to spark a Friday night performance the club can finally be proud of.

"Obviously no one is going to back us at all," he said.

"You want to block out all the outside noise and what people are saying about us but deep down we have to use that as motivation.

"It's on us to turn up and try to prove these guys wrong."

A brutally honest Ofahengaue conceded a win on Friday night would be a "bonus", saying the scoreboard would be not be Brisbane's gauge for success.

"Win or lose, if we go out and put in an effort ... that the fans and our club can be proud of ... look each other in the eyes and commit to not letting our teammates down, that's good enough for me," he said.

"If we come away with a win that would be a bonus."

Coach Anthony Seibold got some welcome good news this week with the Broncos board dismissing reports he had to win five of their remaining 10 games to secure his job.

However, Brisbane chairman Karl Morris would only guarantee the future of Seibold - who is in the second year of a five-season deal - until the end of 2020.

Ofahengaue - who bristled when asked whether the players backed Seibold - said the team could help alleviate the pressure with a stirring display against Melbourne.

"Anthony is our coach. I'd be dumb not to stand behind him. I don't know what kind of question that is," he said.

Seibold has tweaked his spine for the clash with Melbourne, moving five-eighth Anthony Milford to fullback, halfback Brodie Croft to pivot and young gun Tom Dearden to No.7.

The Broncos have cleared Milford after the new No.1 appeared troubled at Thursday's training with his left leg heavily strapped.

Meanwhile Storm coach Craig Bellamy is wary of the bruised Broncos, dismissing suggestions a win is a foregone conclusion.

"I'm not thinking that and I am hoping the players don't either," he said. "Get complacent and you get your pants pulled down."

STATS THAT MATTER

* Melbourne have won 17 of 19 games against Brisbane including the last seven

* Since round three Brisbane have scored the fewest points (10.5), fewest tries (1.9), made the fewest metres (1234m) and the fewest linebreaks (two) per game

* Brisbane have conceded 291 points so far this season, more than they did in the entire 1996 (263) and 1997 (283) regular campaigns