Broncos still in frame despite a shaky start
RUGBY LEAGUE: Co-captain Justin Hodges believes Brisbane is in a healthy position six rounds into the season, following a few "unlucky" losses.
At the unveiling yesterday of a photo of himself and fellow captain Corey Parker on the captain's wall in the foyer at the Broncos Leagues Club, Hodges said: "We've let ourselves down a few times when we should have put the final nail in the coffin.
"We're going ok.
"If we had won those two tight games (Roosters and Titans) we'd be sitting pretty, but we're going all right," he added.
Parker backed up his co-captain.
"At times you can do everything in your power to win, but unfortunately at the end of the game you're behind on the scoreboard," he said.
"As frustrating as it was (Friday's loss to the Gold Coast) there were a lot of positives to take out of the game.
"It's important for us that we do that because we've got another big challenge on Friday night against Newcastle.
Parker said it had been his boyhood dream to play for the Broncos, adding it was a "great honour" to have spent 14 years at the club and to captain the team alongside a great mate.
Between them, Parker and Hodges boast 28 seasons, 500 NRL games, almost 50 representative appearances and four premierships.
"I kinda look after the backs and Coz (Parker) looks after the forwards," Hodges said.
"We're both very experienced players and sometimes in a game we don't have time for a chat - we just do our jobs."
Fullback Ben Barba's mixed performance in dropping a few bombs, saving a try and then being stripped of the ball by Titans five-eighth Aidan Sezer that led to the game-winning try, have put the former Bulldogs star under the spotlight.
Speculation suggests Barba may not be totally over an ankle injury, but Hodges backed the 2012 Dally M winner to turn things around quickly.
"He's going ok, it was one of those nights as a footy player," the representative centre said.
"He's struggling with a bit of confidence, but we support him 100 per cent.
"We all know what he is capable of doing and he just has to start believing in himself.
"Once he does he'll be back to the player everyone knows he is."
Newcastle was boosted by the return of halfback Jarrod Mullen in its upset win over the Raiders in Canberra on the weekend, and playing against teams coached by former Broncos mentor Wayne Bennett is always a challenge for Brisbane.