Restoring pride a goal for NRL Broncos

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Brisbane back-rower Jordan Riki and his teammates are far from finished when it comes to restoring the Broncos' NRL reputation.

For so long a powerhouse of the competition, Brisbane have gone from penthouse to outhouse in recent years.

After six straight years of finals football, they finished dead last in 2020 and 14th on the ladder last year in Kevin Walters' first campaign at the helm.

Finals football appears to be very much be back on the agenda in 2022 though, with last weekend's 16-12 derby win over Gold Coast keeping the Broncos fifth on the ladder and eyeing off a top four berth.

Having won five premierships in nine seasons between 1992 and 2000, and missing the finals just six times since their debut campaign in 1988, the slide to also-ran status has never sat comfortably at Red Hill.

Riki says it was a stated goal of the group heading into this season to be the squad who would restore the club's reputation.

"We really wanted to be one of those teams that put the Broncos back on the map," he told reporters.

"We know that for many years, when the Broncos very first started, they were one of those teams that everyone wanted to knock off.

"We want to get back up there and be in that top four spot ... play in the finals and make it all the way through.

"That's our goal for this year and we just want to keep putting our heads down and keep working hard."

Brisbane face a test of their finals credentials on Thursday when they play Parramatta at Commbank Stadium.

The Broncos' last finals match was against the Eels at the same venue in 2019 when they were humiliated 56-0 by Brad Arthur's team.

Having played an undermanned side against the Titans, Brisbane will be boosted by the return of Queensland State of Origin trio Kurt Capewell, Patrick Carrigan and Corey Oates this week.

Selwyn Cobbo will miss a second game due to HIA protocols after his concussion in last week's Origin decider but barnstorming prop Payne Haas has been named to return from his shoulder issues.

Riki says the Broncos will need Haas, Capewell and Carrigan's added grunt in the forwards against an Eels pack featuring NSW Origin prop Junior Paulo as well as Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Isaiah Papali'i and Shaun Lane.

"It's going to be an awesome challenge for us," Riki said.

"We really want to try and get up in their face as much as we can ... limit their running time and their ball-playing time as well.

"They're fighting for the top four spot just as much as us so it's going to be a really good game and we're looking forward to it."

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