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Broncos backs ready for Penrith, says Reed
Laine Clark
15:46 AEST Tue Aug 28 2012

This time, it's personal.

Jack Reed says the Broncos centres have made it their responsibility to blunt Penrith attacking weapons Michael Jennings and Brad Tighe in Friday night's must-win NRL clash.

And the onus will be on Reed and fellow Brisbane three-quarter Justin Hodges to lead the way after Broncos coach Anthony Griffin named a reshuffled backline featuring a "tentative" Dale Copley.

Jennings and Tighe cut loose in a 36-22 last start win that turned the Gold Coast's finals dream into a nightmare - and quickly made it clear they wanted to crash Brisbane's party too.

Not that English international Reed had to be reminded.

"They have explosive centres ... me and Hodgo have our work cut out for us," he said.

"We will take it real personally out there and hopefully do a job on them.

"They are going to throw everything at us, kick on the first, whatever it takes - we have to expect that.

"They will want to go into next year on a positive by knocking us off after knocking over the Titans.

"Hopefully we can stop them and take our own momentum into the finals."

Brisbane's top eight equation is simple - beat Penrith and play the finals.

Reed believed they had the firepower to do it despite boasting a new-look backline and suffering six straight losses.

Copley slots onto the wing wearing a special guard after coming back from a broken leg, moving Josh Hoffman to fullback and Corey Norman to five-eighth.

Copley's bulky guard was the same sported by Reed when he came back from a fractured leg this season - and the English international could empathise with his teammate's initial anxiety.

"It is like having another leg out there," Reed said of the guard.

"He is a little tentative with it but he will be fine.

"He knows he is ready to play footy again."

Copley - who was injured in the Brisbane's last win in round 19 - admitted it would take time to get used to the guard.

"It's hard not to notice it, it's pretty sizeable," Copley said.

"It's the same thing as Reedy's. I am not used to running with something so big on my leg but ...it's getting better with time."

Copley said he was more excited than anything ahead of the big clash.

"It's been a long six weeks. It's always hard on the sidelines and going through a tough patch like we have had, it's been really hard - hopefully now I can help the guys out," he said.

"It's more exciting than anything, coming back into a big game that you have to win - it's why you play footy."


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