Brisbane Broncos player Matt Gillett speaks to reporters after training in Brisbane, Wednesday, September 11, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Brisbane Broncos player Matt Gillett speaks to reporters after training in Brisbane, Wednesday, September 11, 2019. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING

Gillett notches game 200 in crucial Eels clash

Brisbane workhorse Matt Gillett says reaching milestones in footy mean little if he doesn't perform on the paddock.

The 31-year-old Bronco will run on to Bankwest Stadium for his 200th NRL match on Sunday in what will be the club's most important game of the season.

Anthony Seibold's Broncos have limped into this weekend's do-or-die elimination final on the back of their shock 30-14 loss to the Bulldogs last weekend.

 

Brisbane Broncos players Cory Paix and Matt Gillett at training. Photo: Dan Peled/ AAP Image
Brisbane Broncos players Cory Paix and Matt Gillett at training. Photo: Dan Peled/ AAP Image

Five players have been named to play their first ever finals game this weekend and will be looking to the experience of Gillett to guide them through.

The veteran backrower has starred in 13 NRL finals clashes, with his 14th set to be one of the most important for both the club and himself personally.

Last year, Gillett's NRL career fell into limbo after a horrifying neck injury ruled him out for the season.

His comeback year in 2019 has also been hampered by further injury, when he was sidelined for two months with groin and lower back problems from July.

Gillett said he was always confident he would get back to playing footy but his focus was on playing well for the club, not on milestones.

"For me, it's not about reaching milestones," Gillett said.

"It's about performing well on the paddock.

 

Matt Gillett in 2007 playing in the Under 20s for Bribie Island.
Matt Gillett in 2007 playing in the Under 20s for Bribie Island.

 

"I would have enjoyed playing a lot more footy last year and again this year, I've had a few niggling injuries (but) I finally get to play my 200th in one of our most important games of our season.

"It's a pretty proud and special moment that I get to do it here at the Broncos.

"We're going down there to play an in-form Parramatta side, so we've got to be there mentally to win that game."

Gillett joins teammates Andrew McCullough (257 games), Alex Glenn (258) and Darius Boyd (316) to have reached their double century milestone match.

The Red Hill quartet will be out to extend their 2019 season by at least another week by conjuring a win against an electric Parramatta playing at home.

Gillett admitted half the battle will be the mental challenge because from here on out, there's no second chances.

"Mentally we weren't prepared to show up for each other (against the Bulldogs)," he said.

"Mentally if we can just focus, because obviously there's no fall back this week, we're going to go out there (against the Eels) and give it our all.

"No fallback, no next week, it's game to game now. We've got nothing to lose.

"No one gives us a chance, so no pressure on us. We just have to go down there and play our footy and get the result."

News Corp Australia


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