Broncos saddle up for another crack
THEY signed their first NRL contracts together at the Broncos in 1999.
Now co-captains Corey Parker and Justin Hodges hope to share in another premiership or two together before eventually hanging up their boots, after extending their deals with the six-time premiers yesterday until the end of the 2016 season.
"The reason that keeps me here is the hunger for another premiership," said Hodges, who despite a string of serious injuries, believes he still has some of his best football to play.
"It's been eight years since our last premiership, and before Corey and I hang up our boots we'd like to get another one or two more."
Parker said it was every professional player's goal to win premierships.
"Like Hodgo said, in 2006 we were lucky to achieve that," Parker said. "The feeling you get and the satisfaction you feel when you win a comp is what keeps you playing."
With 284 NRL games for Brisbane under his belt, the 31-year-old Parker's new contract gives him a chance to threaten former captain Darren Lockyer's club and NRL record of 355 games.
Meanwhile, off-contract representative prop Ben Hannant believes Brisbane has the playing roster to go deep into the NRL finals this season.
Missing out on the play-offs last year forced the Broncos to make changes in the off-season, not only to their playing personnel, but also to the way they play.
After consecutive losses to the Eels and Titans, Brisbane put it all together last weekend, giving former coach Wayne Bennett's Newcastle Knights a 32-6 touch-up.
"This team can do anything it wants to do if we do it together," Hannant told APN.
"It's all up to us. We've got a lot of experienced players who realise it's our job to get it done. People like Benny Hunt are standing up and not waiting for others to do it for them, they're taking some ownership and realising it's their time."
Hannant warned his side would have to crank it up another notch against a wounded South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
But, he added playing on Anzac Day would pump up all the players.
"When you're playing an Anzac Day game, especially in front of big crowd of 40,000 plus with the bugle playing, it's one of those stirring moments that gets your heart racing," he said.
"It's almost like playing a Test match."