After enduring a couple of miserable seasons, which saw the Broncos in the unprecedented position of cellar-dwellers, the arrival of Adam Reynolds and Kurt Capewell sparked a revival in Brisbane that ultimately ended in disappointment.
The Sporting News have reviewed the Broncos’ season in-depth below.
Kevin Walters entered into the year as a man under severe pressure. He had been appointed when the club was at its lowest ebb and tasked with turning the mood around.
The Broncos had finished 2021 in 14th place on the ladder after picking up the wooden spoon the previous year.
They started off the season with two victories which eased the focus on the coach slightly, only to then slip into a four-game losing streak which brought the knives back out for Walters.
However, his team responded in the perfect manner as they rose up the ladder and sparked a revival that not many people saw coming- at one stage they seemed destined for a top-four finish.
Despite the disappointment of eventually missing out on a finals berth, compared to the last few years, Brisbane OVER-DELIVERED this year.
After a brilliant spell in the middle of the season, the Broncos ran out of steam as the finish line came into view.
In the period after Origin, they seemed fatigued as they also battled with the absence of key players such as Selwyn Cobbo, Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan at various times.
They were entrenched in the top-eight with just over a month left of the season, before they won just one of their remaining five matches to drop down to ninth.
Their patchy form resulted in a 60-12 battering at home to the Melbourne Storm in Round 23, which was followed by leaking a half-century against Parramatta the following week.
Then the news broke about Tyson Gamble undermining Walters and all hell broke loose in the press in the week leading up to their last regular game of the season.
The final nail in their coffin came in that round 25 match where they were beaten by the Dragons, despite needing to win to have any chance of playing in the finals.
The Broncos seemed like a team reborn in Round 7 after scoring a comprehensive win over Canterbury. It kick-started a brilliant seven-game run where they put teams such as South Sydney and Manly to the sword.
Invigorated by Reynolds directing their exciting young forward pack around the park and utilising their strike weapons on the edges, Brisbane piled on 30 or more points in five games during this period.
They edged the highly-fancied Sharks in round eight, before beating the Rabbitohs away from home and keeping Manly scoreless at Magic Round during their 38-0 walloping of the Sea Eagles.
They also notched big scores against the struggling Knights and Titans, while concluding their run with a tight victory over the Raiders.
Few would have given the Kiwi much of a chance to break into the Brisbane starting side after signing a one-year development contract for 2022.
He was making an unlikely comeback from an early retirement, where he left the game two years prior due to suffering a brain injury.
The 26-year-old was handed a start in round seven though and never looked back, as his inclusion at the back resulted in the Broncos enjoying the best spell of the season.
Brisbane were victorious in Martin’s first seven appearances, with the No.1 claiming one try and four assists during this time.
After completing his inspiring comeback, his final act in a Broncos jersey – he signed with the New Zealand Warriors for next year – was to play on despite suffering a collapsed lung in Brisbane’s final game of the season.
Brisbane boasts one of the best up and coming packs in the comp. They have Haas and Carrigan featuring alongside firebrand Tom Flegler and talented back-rower Jordan Riki. The task will be to keep these together.
Their backline is also full of game-breaking talent with the likes of Cobbo and Kotoni Staggs – who had a quiet year – about to be joined by Reece Walsh.
The fullback could take the club to the next level, alongside the return of strike centre Herbie Farnworth who was in career-best form before being struck down by injury.
Jesse Arthars, Reece Walsh
Jamayne Isaako, Brenko Lee, Te Maire Martin, David Mead