Brisbane may have found the template to beat Penrith in the NRL grand final after an offloading spree enabled them to run riot in their preliminary final win over the Warriors.
The Broncos had 23 offloads in the 42-12 triumph on Saturday night, with all of their seven tries featuring offloads in the lead-up or act of scoring.
It is a style of play that Parramatta have used with success in the past against the back-to-back premiers. The Eels have won four of their past six clashes against the Panthers, including a 32-18 win in round 26 this year, by asking questions with a more expansive approach.
Brisbane coach Kevin Walters said his team weren't known for their offloading prowess so put the statistics against the Warriors down to chance.
"The Warriors are a team who like to offload and we're not a team known for doing that. It was a bit of a surprise, and it was working as well," Walters said.
"It was just how it happened on the field. We were smart enough to capitalise on those offloads."
The coach was not about to give away his game plan before Sunday's season decider so he played down offloads as being a key plank in his strategy against the Panthers.
His son, Broncos hooker Billy Walters was more forthcoming.
"I think offloads rattle a lot of teams so it might work against Penrith," Billy Walters said.
"They are pretty smart our coaches. They are a tough team to break down but we will be ready."
The Broncos' offloads against the Warriors came from forwards and backs. Middle forwards Pat Carrigan, Payne Haas and Thomas Flegler had 11 between them. They allowed fullback Reece Walsh, who had two, to move freely on the back of second-phase play and create havoc.
Second-rower Kurt Capewell, who won the 2021 title with the Panthers, said the offloading against the Warriors was part of the Broncos' attacking artillery that would be vital to beat his former club.
"You have got to use everything in your bag to beat Penrith. Their defence is the best in the comp and we will be trying everything in our kit bag to try and break it apart," Capewell said.
"Offloading is instinctive. It is off-the-cuff. That is how we like to play. It is our Broncos brand of footy and these guys are great at it."
Kevin Walters said his players "weren't great" against the Warriors.
"We have to be great next week. The boys have been good, but our best performance is still in front of us this year," he said.
Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, after his side was thumped 38-4 in their preliminary final by Penrith, said that to beat them their grand final opponents "must create chances and finish them."
"Then you're putting them into a place where they don't go too often," he said.