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Broncos coach spray deserved: Capewell

Brisbane forward Kurt Capewell has hailed the passion of coach Kevin Walters and says his ferocious spray was deserved and a reality check ahead of the Broncos’ crucial NRL clash with St George Illawarra.

Capewell, a down-to-earth forward from the Queensland country town of Charleville, spoke on Wednesday about Walters letting rip at his team following their 53-6 thrashing by Parramatta, when he called the players soft.

Having been in the top four after round 19, the Broncos are in ninth position on the ladder and must beat the Dragons in Sydney on Saturday and hope Wests Tigers upset eighth-placed Canberra at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday to play finals football.

Walters’ spray after last Thursday night’s loss, hot on the heels of Brisbane’s 60-12 drubbing from Melbourne, is still making headlines after reports some Broncos players took it to heart.

“I don’t think any players took it badly. We just got flogged on the paddock,” Capewell said of the coach’s strong words.

“It was within reason. We are all emotional here too. None of us were happy with that game, or the last two weeks, so I understand Kevvie was frustrated. We all were.

“Everyone handles it differently but Kevvie is an emotional person. He wears his heart on his sleeve and that is one thing we love about him as a coach. It was a spray we all deserved.”

Capewell, who won a premiership at Penrith under Ivan Cleary last year, said there was nothing wrong with Walters’ methods.

“Kevvie is a great coach,” he said.

“What he brings to our team builds our confidence. When we were winning he kept us rolling. It has been a pleasure this year under Kevvie.”

Capewell said his focus was on “fixing what we got wrong the past two weeks” and he insisted the Broncos could turn their form around.

The Broncos’ slide has gathered pace in recent weeks and Capewell outlined the reasons for it.

“There were probably some cracks we looked over while we were winning,” he said.

“It is only simple things. They are little things in our game that you don’t really see when you are winning. Unfortunately it takes a loss to learn sometimes.

“(The losses) probably kicked us while we were down and we lost a bit of confidence …we have a great opportunity a lot of teams would beg to have.

“Mentally we are all in a good space. We have just got to go out and win it. We still have an opportunity to be in the finals.”

The Broncos have recalled Tyson Gamble at five-eighth to replace teenager Ezra Mam. Centre Delouise Hoeter also has received a call-up due to a hamstring injury to Brenko Lee while winger Selwyn Cobbo returns after sitting out last week with fatigue.

“Cobbo has handled everything in his stride,” Capewell said.

“He is a kid from a small country town coming here to the big smoke. He probably gets a bit overawed sometimes with all the people. Everyone knows him now. He is a superstar.

“I think he has handled this year really well. I am excited to see him back out there and hopefully we can get him across the line.”

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