The Broncos new breed: We’re gonna need a bigger chequebook

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

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17 Have your say

    The Broncos’ new breed of young forwards is the most eye-catching crop to emerge this year behind the possum residing on Darren Lockyer’s scone.

    These youngsters’ rapid acclimatisation to NRL footy suggests they could emulate everything achieved by the club’s star-studded packs of yesteryear – only for someone else.

    Thankfully for the rest of us, there is no way the Broncos can cage the lot forever, unless the club’s payroll software is an analogue odometer that ticks over to zero when it reaches 9999999.

    But in good news for Brisbane fans, the savings can be put towards the remaining six dwarf statues to go alongside the new Allan Langer erection, or even a single Cleary.

    Under the tutelage of the similarly baby-faced Wayne Bennett, young bucks such as Tevita Pangai Junior, Jadyn Su’a, Joe Ofahengaue and the palatable Fifita are producing match-winning performances for the Broncos second only to Billy Slater.

    With every platform they supremely lay to be wasted by their halves, they are drawing comparisons to the club’s palatial forward pack of the 1990s.

    This was a time when Brisbane enjoyed the services of Shane Webcke, Gorden Tallis, Glenn Lazarus, 256 other internationals, an All Black, the rest of the entire Queensland Origin side, and Brett Galea.

    Gorden Tallis of the Broncos fends off the tackle of Steven Witt of the Knights

    Gorden Tallis: one of the most powerful men to play in the NRL. (Photo by Jonathan Wood/Getty Images)

    This team of unbeatables were celebrated among the league, enjoying an exalted status in Queensland and accusations of salary cap rorts in Sydney.

    Such was the invincible Broncos’ profound effect on rugby league, it still influences the game to this very day.

    Their six premierships reaped in this time are still celebrated yearly by the NRL, with months and months of preferential scheduling.

    But times have changed from the days when playing for Brisbane “wasn’t about the money” because everyone would “play for Wayne for free”, which some alleged was formally true.

    Nowadays, salary cap pressures and the youth’s desire to monetise hit-ups will ensure this current crop is partially vultured by desperately inflated offers from southern savages.

    Of course, this is unless this group of young men develop a distinct disinterest in money, or lose their edge by doing something ridiculous such as having kids or taking up religion.

    Otherwise, trends demonstrate one will specifically accept massive overs to retire and play for the Gold Coast Titans, and another a career stagnating at club level for the Queensland Reds on $35k per minute.

    Furthermore, retention will be made even more trickier considering the hindrance of reality.

    The Broncos have scant financial wriggle room considering all the club’s money has been poured into Jack Bird’s new size 54 maternity pants.

    Not even corporate tax cuts or Sam Thaiday’s retirement will ease pressure on their $10 million cap, despite these developments now leaving the club with ten million and eighty dollars.

    In the end, the club’s spendocrats will probably be forced to retain the group by employing more cut-price hoodlums like Matt Lodge, leaving them to lure other talent like everyone else – via third-party rorts.

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

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    The Crowd Says (17)

    • July 14th 2018 @ 4:50am
      tim said | July 14th 2018 @ 4:50am | ! Report

      Sometimes I need to do a google search for references I don’t get. ‘Allan Langer erection’… not a good search.

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2018 @ 8:32am
        Dane Eldridge said | July 14th 2018 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        Would love to know what this turned up

      • July 14th 2018 @ 6:11pm
        Canetoad said | July 14th 2018 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        Tim, I think the author was talking about his own statue erection when thinking of Allen Langer, something he can’t get with Andrew Johns.

    • July 14th 2018 @ 8:13am
      Paul said | July 14th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

      They just need to lure Politis north of the border. If anyone can fix their salary cap, it’s him.

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2018 @ 8:31am
        Dane Eldridge said | July 14th 2018 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        Great idea Paul. Nick is a man who definitely knows odometers

    • July 14th 2018 @ 8:30am
      Larry1950 said | July 14th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      Or the guy who’s signing every kiwi international at the warriors.

      • July 16th 2018 @ 9:26am
        tim said | July 16th 2018 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        Not sure if that mob is worth paying for these days

    • July 14th 2018 @ 8:55am
      kk said | July 14th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report


      Your understanding of Rugby League is incisive, engaging and addictive.

      Every paragraph is a creative masterpiece in storytelling, befitting of a place at the table
      in Vince Gilligan’s ‘Writers Room’ where the hindrance of reality is tested to the limit.

      We are so lucky to have you at the Roar.

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2018 @ 9:07am
        Dane Eldridge said | July 14th 2018 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        Bloody hell, KK. This is wonderful feedback! Let me say, the appreciation is reciprocated. Let us also give thanks for rugby league. Viva!

    • July 14th 2018 @ 9:21am
      Craig said | July 14th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      About as funny as a fart in an elevator.

      I did smirk at the Jack Bird line though.

      • July 15th 2018 @ 8:13am
        Max danger said | July 15th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        Let me guess, a touchy Brisbane fan?

    • July 14th 2018 @ 9:23am
      Gus Paella said | July 14th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      The broncs have Corey Oates off contract also, speaking of young wannabe forwards.

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2018 @ 10:10am
        Dane Eldridge said | July 14th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        True, Gus. Reckon Corey would give himself a better chance of staying if he reinvented as a game-managing halfback though

      • July 14th 2018 @ 10:39am
        Lary1950 said | July 14th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

        Corey is probably delusional if he thinks he’s in the top half dozen retention must haves in the bronco pack. Pity there’s no trade system in NRL, would love an organising half to let Milford float around & have the half hit those forwards on the chest at will.
        I reckon Oates isn’t the number one winger retention target, the other one kicks goals & will replace Boyd in time.

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