Broncos braced for another title challenge - Bennett


Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said his team are prepared to go one step further in their bid to win the NRL premiership.

The Broncos were runners-up last season after suffering a heartbreaking 17-16 golden-point loss to North Queensland Cowboys in the Grand Final.

Brisbane have since added James Roberts from Gold Coast Titans in the off-season following the retirement of Justin Hodges in a boost to their title tilt.

And as the Broncos prepare to face Wigan Warriors at the World Club Series on Saturday, Bennett and Co. are braced for another shot at the championship, though the seven-time premiership-winning coach knows luck is needed.

"We've prepared well - the rest of it is a bit of luck and lap of the Gods," Bennett said in an interview with Omnisport at the launch of the World Club Series in Manchester.

"All the stars have got to align together and we've got to make sure that key players aren't injured. I've got no control over all that stuff.

"All I know is we've trained well, we're in good shape and we're ready to start here on Saturday night."

Bennett, who will balance his NRL duties with England after becoming the first foreigner to lead the national team, insisted the Broncos are not dwelling on last season's disappointment, especially Ben Hunt.

Hunt cut a forlorn figure following the full-time whistle in Sydney more than four months ago after the number seven knocked on from the golden point kick-off with the scores locked at 16-16.

"It's time to start training. We've been training hard and we haven't talked about it," said Bennett.

"It's our first game together as a team for the year, so my expectations are we'll turn up and try very hard - after that we'll work it out. We're happy to be here, pleased to be here, want to be here, so it's all positive from our point of view."

Of Hunt, Bennett added: "Ben Hunt didn't lose us the game. The game was lost before Ben Hunt dropped the ball, so I've hardly spoken to Ben about it," said Bennett.

"It's not something that I'm dwelling on. It's not something that I feel Ben should take any responsibility for, except that he dropped the ball and that was his responsibility to catch it.

"He didn't cost us the game or the championship. There were a lot of things that happened prior to that that cost us that."