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Enforcer McGuire won't change

By Eden Richards‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

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Josh McGuire is looking to rectify the Broncos last result against the Eels. Photo: © NRL Photos

Queensland Maroon and Brisbane Broncos enforcer Josh McGuire will not change his bruising style of play, saying it is how he has approached his football since he was a kid. 

The Broncos face the Parramatta Eels on Thursday night and it is sure to be a fiery encounter if the last meeting between the two sides is anything to go by. 

It was just four weeks ago when Brisbane travelled to ANZ Stadium to face the Eels, and tempers flared both on and off the field as niggling tactics crept into the match. 

Eel Kenny Edwards lit the first fire, dropping his shoulder into a defenceless Jonus Pearson as he lay motionless on the ground, before Bronco Adam Blair tried to take out Michael Jennings late, only to accidently hit teammate Andrew McCullough – ending the Brisbane hooker's season. 

In the days after the match Jennings was vocal, voicing his disapproval of Blair's "dirty play" and also calling out McGuire for appearing to stomp on Parramatta captain Tim Mannah's leg.

It sets up an explosive confrontation on Thursday at Suncorp Stadium and McGuire is ready for another tough match-up. 

"It's always a tough game when we play them. I'm expecting the same thing again," McGuire said.

"I'll play the same footy as I did when I was a kid. The coach wants me to go out there and do my job so I'll go out and do it. I just enjoy playing footy. 

"The Eels are a very classy team that is knocking on the door of the top four so it will be a tough encounter."

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A tough game for Josh McGuire and the Broncos in Round 21 versus Parramatta. Photo: Grant Trouville © NRL Photos

The Broncos have toed the line between aggression and ill-discipline in the last month, conceding 31 penalties in their past four matches. 

Sam Thaiday is well aware of this, but he said it was a risk worth taking if it meant his side would continue to stop teams from scoring. 

After conceding 28 points against the Eels four weeks ago, Brisbane have turned their defence around, using aggression to bully sides out of the contest. 

Wayne Bennett's men have conceded just 22 points over their past three games and they are out to prove a point against Parramatta.

"You need a bit of aggression out there. We'll need to make sure we defend a lot better [than last time we faced the Eels]," Thaiday said. 

"We have defended better over the last few weeks. We've only leaked 22 points."

Defence and aggression will once again be the focus come Thursday night, with a win to put Brisbane one step closer to a top-two finish. 

The Broncos appear to be peaking at the right time of the season, with Thaiday believing Brisbane are a better side than they were when they lost to Parramatta in Round 21.

"It is a little bit weird [playing them again]. It's kind of a good thing for us. We don't have to look too far back to see what we can fix. We are a better team than we were three weeks ago," he said. 


This article first appeared on NRL.com

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