Dreadful Broncos break unwanted records in humiliation
This wasn't a sudden-death final. This was one of the blackest days in Broncos history.
Brisbane's season of inconsistency and turbulence finally ended in a stupefying haze of embarrassment after Eels wizards Mitchell Moses and Clint Gutherson ran riot to inflict a 58-0 belting at Bankwest Stadium.
The Broncos were hammered 48-18 by the Dragons in the corresponding finals game last year and this time, under a new coach in Anthony Seibold, Brisbane were left to digest their heaviest loss in playoffs history.
As the Eels wreaked havoc, Seibold sat in the Brisbane coaching box, literally scratching his head.
What a debacle.
It was a carve-up at Bankwest, with the Eels reprising their 38-10 rout of the Broncos in Round 14 and plunging the dagger further yesterday in an 11-tries-to-nil drubbing that should ring alarm bells for Broncos management.
The Bankwest massacre before a ground-record crowd of 29,372 was Brisbane's worst-ever loss to Parramatta, eclipsing a 68-22 loss to the Eels at this very venue in 2007, and the first time a team has lost by 50 points or more in a final.
The Broncos' premiership drought now extends to 13 long years. It is simply unacceptable for the richest club in the league with unmatched resources and here's the worrying part for Broncos bosses - the club has gone backwards this season.
Compared to their 2018 campaign, Brisbane finished with fewer competition points this season, fewer wins, fewer points in attack and with a playmaking spine that was exposed as a rabble by the rampant Eels.
Parramatta piled on 11 tries and it was an 11 out of 10 performance from halfback Moses, who played the game of his life, and Gutherson as they sent the Broncos crashing out of the title race.
Brisbane were impotent from the start, lacking energy from the opening seconds, conceding five tries in a dismal first half to trail 24-0 before the Eels went berserk after the break as the blue-and-gold army exploded.
In every key facet of performance, the Broncos were blown off the park. The Eels ran harder, played smarter, kicked better, showed more desire, orchestrated more dangerous offensive shapes and swarmed like men possessed to choke the Broncos in their own half.
Parramatta's turbo-charged, five-try first-half blitzkrieg to lead 24-0 was the perfect example of everything the Broncos lack in attack and why Brisbane won't be a bona fide title force until they fix it.
Brisbane's problem all season has been their lack of fluency in the playmaking spine and it was chillingly laid bare in Seibold's biggest game since succeeding Wayne Bennett as coach.
Some of Brisbane's option-taking and end-to-set execution was seriously shambolic.
Skipper Darius Boyd struggled for penetration at five-eighth and while Jake Turpin is a brave competitor, his ineffective last-play kicks reeked of the makeshift halfback that he is.
Veteran hooker Andrew McCullough had a first-half air swing from dummy half.
That summed up Brisbane's day of shame ... and now Seibold is under pressure to find some answers.