It may be hard to fathom but all conquering Melbourne captain Cameron Smith reckons he knows exactly how battling Brisbane feels.
The Broncos showed plenty of fight early but were steamrolled in the second half to be thrashed 46-8 by Smith’s Storm on Friday night – their eighth NRL loss in nine games.
In contrast perennial contenders Melbourne romped to their fifth straight win to be provisional NRL ladder leaders.
Even Smith admitted it was hard to watch six-time premiers Brisbane’s stunning fall from grace this season.
But the veteran hooker backed the Broncos to bounce back if they stuck with the same approach Melbourne adopted when they were in what he claimed was a similar hole eight years ago.
Back in 2012 Smith said Storm coach Craig Bellamy was “lost” after they fell to their fifth straight defeat.
“I remember after the fifth game (they lost) against St George,” Smith said.
“I was walking off the field with Craig and he was lost, he had no answer for what was happening with our footy side.
“I still remember the chat we had in the dressing room after that game. We said we just need to focus on what works for us, train hard and it will turn around.
“We went on a big run and won the premiership.”
Smith added: “I’m not saying that is going to happen for the Broncos.
“But teams that work hard and play for each other and play for their jersey, the bad times do come to an end.”
Smith said he tried to pass on the message to the shattered Broncos.
“I spoke to a couple of the boys after the game and just said all you can do is keep working hard and luck will come your way,” he said.
“They’ve been a benchmark team and organisation for a long time, and knowing most of those guys in the footy side it’s hard to watch what they are going through but it’s not through lack of effort.
“Just a couple of things need to go their way and they can turn it around.”
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold certainly hopes so after they were kept scoreless in the second half for the sixth time in nine games since the NRL resumption.
But he was heartened to at least see a response after their horrid 48-0 last round loss to Wests Tigers.
“This effort compared to last week was chalk and cheese,” he said.
“It’s challenging at the moment but they are trying their best, sometimes some people don’t think they are.
“If I was a Broncos supporter I’d stick solid with these guys.”
Seibold was also encouraged by his new-look spine featuring young gun Tom Dearden at halfback and Brodie Croft at pivot although new No.1 Anthony Milford was pilloried by critics for registering just 40m from seven runs.