AAP Rugby

Lack of smarts hurting Broncos: Carrigan

By AAP Newswire

Rookie Brisbane captain Patrick Carrigan has urged teammates to be smarter off the field as the NRL club endures its worst season in history on it.

Alex Glenn's injuries have left 22-year-old Carrigan to face the music as skipper in his first full NRL campaign.

And it's been a torrid one, with the club's for-and-against record on track to be their worst ever.

A loss to fifth-placed Canberra on Saturday would ensure the club cops two separate five-game losing runs for the first time in one season.

They've never finished worse than 13th, but are currently in a battle to avoid the wooden spoon, winning just once from 11 games since the season's resumption.

But their off-field performance has matched it, with Tevita Pangai Jr suspended by the NRL and facing the sack from the club after a biosecurity breach last Saturday.

A separate incident that involved up to 10 players having lunch at a Brisbane pub is still being investigated, Carrigan admitting they had brought the pain on themselves.

"As a club we've just got to be smarter," he said.

"When things aren't going well on the field we've got to be smarter about the positions we put ourselves off the field, regardless of whether people are in the right or the wrong."

Critics have lined them up, with a fan even dumping a jersey on the club's front step this week with a message scrawled across the chest to sack the coach and the board.

"It does hurt ... but it makes you want to go out and make them proud," Carrigan said of the criticism from the public and former players.

"We've got seven weeks left and if you're not going out looking to get a win, I think the boys here would open the door for you to leave the club.

"We know it's on us and everything that's happened at the moment is because of the situation we've put ourselves in."

Pangai Jr's ban has opened the door for promising New Zealand backrower Jordan Riki's debut off the bench.

Rhys Kennedy will replace Matt Lodge while Jesse Arthars is likely to be promoted after winger Xavier Coates' was ruled out because of injury on Thursday.

For the Raiders, hooker Siliva Havili has been cleared to play despite a triceps strain while utility back Michael Oldfield is out for up to seven weeks with a broken thumb.

The game will be Joe Ofahengaue's 100th NRL clash, the Queensland Origin forward yet to win a game with the club this season.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Brisbane have scored just 12 points in the final 20 minutes of matches this season but conceded 136

* Under Anthony Seibold, the Broncos have won just two of 15 matches outside of Queensland

* The Broncos have the worst red-zone defence, conceding a try from inside 20 from every 8.8 tackles made.