Category: Broncos

Sam Thaiday evaluated week to week

Sam Thaiday admits he has become a week-by-week proposition for the Broncos as he is hampered by the same chronic groin injury that commonly strikes AFL players. Representative forward Thaiday is battling the debilitating osteitis pubis, which has afflicted AFL stars such as Brownlow Medal winners Chris Judd and Adam Cooney and Collingwood premiership winner Luke Ball. The problem hobbled Ball so badly one year that the midfielder was once described as like “a baby giraffe trying to find its feet”. He was so unstable he often struggled to pick himself up off the ground. Thaiday knows he is likely to have to have surgery at some stage but is committed to trying to play out the season in pain, even though he concedes he will have to be evaluated every week. “I am just getting a bit of physio every day and we will just go from game to game,” Thaiday said. “It is a hard thing to try to get on top of. “I don’t know why I’ve got it. I don’t run as much as those (AFL) blokes. Continue reading

With round 1 out the way its time to take stock of your performance and start preparing for round 2. 

In the lead up to the round 1 kick off, I talked a lot about developing a strategy for the season.  If you have taken the time to look at coaching results, not just from the top Dream Teams but the ones involved in NEX, you can see from the results there are many different strategies in play – only time will tell if those coaches have come up with the right strategy to achieve success in 2011. 

Round 1 is not the time to start panicking if your team or individual players didn’t get the score you were hoping for.  The only thing you will need to concern yourself with at this early stage is money!!  By that I mean, come the end of round 3 are you going to loose a heap of money on individual players because their three game average will be way below break-even and unlikely to gain that lost ground anytime soon.  If you did okay on the weekend then you should stay focused on your strategy and have a little faith.  Some of those high priced stars you may have been looking to recruit later in the year may get a whole lot cheaper after round 3.  If you are facing a huge financial loss then you have some tough decisions to make.  Continue reading

Gillett wants to cement his spot

He started 2010 as an unknown park footballer and finished the Dally M Rookie of the Year and a member of the Australian Prime Minister’s XIII, but Broncos forward Matt Gillett was still disappointed with his remarkable debut season. Don’t get him wrong, there is no hint of arrogance or swagger in this appraisal; it is simply the young kid from Bribie Island being his own toughest critic.Gillett burst onto the scene, scoring 12 tries from 22 games, but the youngster believes he ‘slackened off’ towards the end of the year and was gutted when the Broncos missed playing finals football. It’s this hard-line approach to the game that has Gillett primed for another massive season. “I just want to play consistent footy again,” Gillett said. “I was pretty disappointed with how the year finished for myself and how the team finished as well. Continue reading

Bronco debutants ready

Rookie Brisbane centre Jack Reed faces a daunting NRL debut trying to nullify the one redeeming feature of North Queensland’s dismal 2010 – a lethal left-side attack. As bad as the Cowboys were in 2010, their three-pronged assault of Johnathan Thurston, Willie Tonga and edge forward Scott Bolton was still formidable. Reed’s positional play needs to be flawless against a slick customer like Tonga whose slippery footwork has made seasoned NRL players look foolish. But Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin is confident 22-year-old Reed, who played all 25 games including the grand final for Brisbane North last season, scoring 18 tries, would not be overawed making his debut at Suncorp Stadium in front of 45,000 people. Tonga isn’t the only one who knows his way to the try line, Reed having scored six tries in a Colts match a few years ago. Continue reading

1. Anthony Mitchell (Eels) – The Eels have struggled to find a regular dummy-half in recent years but with the emergence of 21-year-old Anthony Mitchell in late 2010 their search could soon be over. The highly-rated young hooker boasts all the skills – lightning service, a crisp passing game and speed off the mark. Likely to be part of a three-man rotation for the Eels this year, he will battle for the No.9 jersey with Matt Keating and new arrival Casey McGuire but the general consensus is that the hooking spot will become his alone in the long term. Mitchell played three games for the Eels at the back end of the 2010 season, scoring two tries, and was selected in the Indigenous All Stars side earlier this year.

2. Siuatonga Likiliki (Knights) – Boasting one of the greatest names in rugby league history – right up there with the likes of former Bronco Steele Retchless and South Sydney’s Bronco Djura – Siuatonga Likiliki made a name for himself playing for the Warriors’ premiership-winning Toyota Cup side last season when he scored 19 tries in 25 games. Now with Newcastle, the 20-year-old speedster already has tongues wagging in the Hunter where he will join Akuila Uate in a lightning-fast backline. A Junior Kiwis representative in 2010, Likiliki was named in both the 2009 and 2010 Toyota Cup Team of the Year. Continue reading

Sydney Roosters star Todd Carney is out of Friday’s NRL season opener against South Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium. Carney, who has endured a torrid lead-up to the start of the new campaign, following his arrest for drink-driving 10 days ago, has not been named in the Roosters side after failing to recover from January groin surgery. The Dally M Medallist sustained the injury playing for Australia in the Four Nations clash with New Zealand in Auckland in October. Coach Brian Smith named Braith Anasta at five-eighth alongside Mitchell Pearce with Carney expected to be back for the round two clash with Manly. However, the Roosters are boosted by the surprise return of secondrower Mitch Aubusson who had been expected to be sidelined until round four with a shoulder injury. Souths coach John Lang said he had been preparing for Carney to play and believed the troubled playmaker’s off-field problems would have no effect on his game. “He had a great season last year and I see no reason why he won’t pick up where he left off last year,” Lang said. “Often for players, the game and training, if there’s been a few problems that can be a bit of a relief for them rather than another pressure.” Continue reading

Broncos star Ben Hannant spoke last night of his torment after being scratched from a head-to-head duel with the man who took his Test and Origin jumpers last year – new Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott. Brisbane’s top prop Hannant (calf) and strike centre Justin Hodges (hamstring) will both be sidelined from Friday night’s round 1 NRL derby against North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium after restricted training runs yesterday. Hannant’s place in Brisbane’s starting pack is likely to be taken by no-nonsense prop Scott Anderson when rookie head coach Anthony Griffin unveils his first premiership squad today. In other team news, ex-bricklayer Jack Reed and flyer Dane Gagai are set to make their NRL debut, with Reed poised to replace Hodges at centre and face Test star Willie Tonga. Continue reading

Hodges hopes hammy holds up

Brisbane centre Justin Hodges claims he missed too much football in 2010 to gamble his comeback on a dodgy hamstring in Friday week’s NRL season-opener against North Queensland. Hodges, who did not play a minute of football in 2010 because of a ruptured right Achilles, will have scans on Monday to determine the full extent of a hamstring “twinge” which ended his night early in Brisbane’s 26-6 trial win over Melbourne at Redcliffe on Saturday night. “I’m coming back from an Achilles injury and it feels awesome … this is a just a little bump in the road,” Hodges said, dismissing any concerns over his latest setback. “I’ll have scans on Monday but I’ve got a few weeks up my sleeve and I’m normally pretty good with hammys.” Still, the timing of the injury could not have been worse for Hodges. Continue reading

Lockyer regains pace

Darren Lockyer’s three year search for his missing pace is over. Lockyer will confirm he is faster than he’s been since blowing out his anterior cruciate in 2007 when Brisbane hold their speed trials at Red Hill on Tuesday morning. The knee injury, coming off Lockyer’s best ever season in 2006, knocked his confidence around. But his class and determination helped him play on at the highest level without the full strength and power in his right leg. He now believes the hard work he’s put in to restoring strength and flexibility in his injured leg over the past few years is about to pay off. “Yeah, for the first time since my reco (knee reconstruction) in ’07 it’s the best the leg has felt,” said Lockyer after an impressive trial comeback against Melbourne at Redcliffe on Saturday night. Continue reading

Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy joked about the prospect of ”kidnapping” former star Greg Inglis after losing both centres to injury in Saturday night’s 26-6 NRL trial defeat to Brisbane. In a somewhat bizarre sight, Inglis – who left the Storm to play for Brisbane only to renege on his contract with the Broncos to sign with South Sydney – was a star spectator in the 8000-strong Redcliffe crowd. After a visit to Melbourne’s dressing room, Bellamy quipped he might try and pry away the Test representative, with off-season recruit Beau Champion and fellow centre Chase Stanley both receiving injuries. ”I see Greg’s up the hallway, I might try to hijack or kidnap him actually and take him back to Melbourne,” Bellamy joked. ”Souths wouldn’t be very happy with that though.” Champion (calf) went down in the warm-up on Saturday night while Stanley (knee ligaments) was taken off in the opening minutes of the loss to the Broncos. Continue reading