NRL 2022: Brisbane Broncos, finals, draw, ladder, form, Kevin Walters spray, video, Billy Slater

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Billy Slater has delivered the Broncos a cold dose of reality as the prospect of Brisbane being shut out of this year’s finals series looms.

The Broncos finished every round from nine through to 23 inside the top eight, and after round 19 they were placed fourth.

But they’re now languishing in ninth ahead of their last game of the regular season.

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The Broncos are now desperate to beat the Dragons and would also need the Raiders to lose to Wests Tigers, so they can steal back eighth spot and feature in finals footy for the first time since 2019.

Slater unpacked the club’s woes on Wide World of Sports’ Billy’s Breakdown, declaring missing the finals would be a “failure”.

The Storm legend also said the Broncos had “dug this hole” and must now “lie in it”.

“Where they were last year … I think it is an improvement. We can certainly see some growth in the Broncos,” Slater said.

“But we were talking about the Broncos as a top-four team about a month ago and they’re outside the eight (and) don’t look like playing finals, so you’d have to see it as a failure.”

Stream the NRL premiership 2022 live and free on 9Now.

The Broncos were dealt the wooden spoon in 2020 and finished in 14th last season, before a seven-game winning streak propelled them into the top four and sparked word of a ‘Kevolution’.

Slater noted that Patrick Carrigan’s four-match ban for a hip-drop tackle had hindered the Broncos, but he also said they’d “run out of petrol”.

Storm Legend predicts tactic changes to top of the table clash – Billy’s Breakdown

“They’ve had a really good year up to date, but the last couple of performances have certainly been below par and below standard of what they’ve created this year,” Slater added.

Broncos coach Kevin Walters unleashed on his troops after their 53-6 thumping at the hands of the Eels in Brisbane on Thursday night.

“I don’t think Kevin will be looking at outcomes right now,” Slater said.

“He’s got a job to do, he’s got a week to prepare his side to play their best football against the Dragons. If they can get back to their best they can beat the Dragons, but they are far from that at the moment.

“They’ll be looking at getting back to playing their best football, and then hope for the best.”

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