Broncos hierarchy have put Brisbane's stars on notice, insisting a finals campaign is a non-negotiable target in the wake of the club's wooden-spoon debacle last season.

The Broncos have already hit turbulence under new coach Kevin Walters with their No.1 prop Payne Haas (suspension) to miss Brisbane's 2021 season opener against the Eels and star pivot Anthony Milford (broken hand) also racing the clock.

Compounding Milford's injury setback, the Broncos have been buffeted by another off-field crisis after the NRL threw the book at Haas, fining him $50,000 and banning him for three matches for his drunken clash with police last month.

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Walters has moved to instil a culture of positivity and hard work in his first pre-season at the Broncos following the club's first wooden spoon last season under his predecessor Anthony Seibold.

Bookmakers have written off the Broncos, installing them at $5 to clinch back-to-back wooden spoons, but Walters and his coaching staff will not tolerate another finals failure at the NRL's richest club.

"Every Broncos team is expected to play semi-final football," Walters' assistant coach Terry Matterson told The Courier-Mail.

A bottom eight finish is unacceptable in 2021. Picture: John Gass
A bottom eight finish is unacceptable in 2021. Picture: John Gass

"Our focus will be our first game against Parramatta (on March 12) and we need to put in a good performance to win that, then we will go from there.

"If you win more games than you lose, you make the semi-finals.

"That's the barometer everyone looks at.

"In the past, the Broncos have always looked at the top four as a club, so that's what we want to get back to."

Several Broncos players, led by blockbusting forward Tevita Pangai Jnr, have dropped kilos over summer as Walters looks to bring a fitter edge to a Brisbane side which struggled to adjust to the up-tempo, six-again rule last season.

 

Payne Haas will miss Brisbane’s opening three matches. Picture: Richard Walker
Payne Haas will miss Brisbane’s opening three matches. Picture: Richard Walker

 

The Broncos conceded a whopping 624 points last season with a horrendous differential (-356) that laid bare Brisbane's lack of commitment and technical communication in defence.

The Haas saga has again put Brisbane's cultural standards under the microscope, but Matterson insists Broncos hierarchy will not accept poor attitudes on or off the field in the Walters era.

"There's no doubt about what's expected this year," said Matterson, a foundation Bronco who played 156 games for the club.

"There is an expectation on not only how you play as a Bronco but how you behave off the field.

 

Payne Haas leaves Tweed court after appearing on charges of offensive language and intimidating police. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Steve Holland
Payne Haas leaves Tweed court after appearing on charges of offensive language and intimidating police. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Steve Holland

 

"The Haas incident is another example of what not to do. We need to move forward quickly and we don't want to see any more of that down the track.

"The guys need to have a grasp of what this club is about, it is built on hard work and it is built on a lot of Queenslanders.

"Anyone who has come to the club from NSW has to buy into the Queensland spirit.

"We mightn't win every week but we are very hard to beat and that's what we need to instil back in this group.

"They have been great in the pre-season, their attitude and effort has been first class and now we need to take that from the training paddock onto the field."

Originally published as Broncos coaches reveal one thing they won't tolerate



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