Broncos sitting top of NRL ladder after Origin period
BRISBANE prop Jarrod Wallace admits he has been surprised at how well his team has emerged through the traditionally gruelling Origin period.
The Broncos - to play the struggling Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium this Sunday - won all six of their games during this time.
As a result the team is sitting pretty on top of the NRL ladder on 30 competition points, a win above the second-placed Cowboys.
"Yeah (I am surprised). That was our plan. We just wanted to get in and do our best even if we didn't have the Origin boys or if we did," Wallace said.
"The boys were proud of all the young guys that came in.
"They did their best and we're really happy."
Wallace, 23, has been part of the younger Bronco brigade that has impressed in 2015, providing plenty of impact off the bench in the 14 games he has played this season.
Matt Parcell, Joe Boyce and Francis Molo are fellow players in their 20s who have stepped up to help out the club during the Origin period.
"All the boys have been helping me," Wallace said.
"It doesn't matter who's going to come in - if it's someone who debuts, like Joe Boyce, who had a good start there against the Knights (in round 11)."
Mitchell Dodds, 26, has also stepped up as part of Brisbane's front-row rotation, with seven games under his belt this season.
That game time for Dodds and Wallace will only increase, with Maroons bookend Josh McGuire (Achilles) sidelined for the rest of the season.
While the Tigers are battling to avoid the wooden spoon, Wallace said its pack, featuring New South Wales Origin front-rower Aaron Woods and hard-hitting Kiwis back-rower Martin Taupau, would present a stern challenge.
"If we don't show up they'll come out and rattle us," Wallace said.
"He (Taupau) is a big boy so you've really got to watch him. He's got a great fend on him and he's turned into a really good player.
"He's strong and he's one of their biggest go-forward guys."
With eight home-and-away games remaining, the Broncos are virtually guaranteed a place in the finals.
After the Tigers, they take on the Titans (h), Manly (a), Bulldogs (h), Dragons (h), Roosters (a), Rabbitohs (a) and Storm (h), with four wins enough to secure a top-four finish and home ground advantage in week one of the finals.