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Why Walters should plot a new course with Sailor on board to go one step further in 2024

Roar Guru
31st March, 2024
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Roar Guru
31st March, 2024
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Brisbane proved the doubters wrong when their depleted side took down the Cowboys in a Good Friday cracker in what was a huge win in their bid to prove they can go one step better in 2024.

The 38-12 scoreline did not reflect how close the game was – it was in the balance for 65 minutes, but the Broncos kicked clear with three unanswered tries and left North Queensland scoreless in the second half.

Brisbane were under the pump with Reece Walsh and Payne Haas out injured and there were doubts about whether they could match it with the previously unbeaten Cowboys. The answer to this debate was a monstrous ‘yes’.

It was by far Brisbane’s best performance of 2024 and has got their season back on track as they look to go one better than last year’s Grand Final heartbreak.

Their loss against Penrith in Round 3 wasn’t the end of the world, as Adam Reynolds was missing.

The Cowboys derby was all about how they responded to the 22-point loss to the premiers.

As much as it was a whole team performance, Reynolds proved why he’s won of the best halfbacks in the modern era.

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He delivered a clinic as he tore the Cowboys defence apart and was giving their back three nightmares with his bombs. His high kicks were nearly impossible to catch, especially in the first half, when the rain was pelting down.

The way he was able to manipulate the defence was a sight to see and if he stays fit all season, he will be the key to taking the extra step and winning their first premiership since 2006.

The next best performance of the night was Patrick Carrigan. The Queensland representative had a strong effect on the game every time he touched the ball.

If the Broncos were on a dangerous attacking raid or coming out of their own end, he was the man to go to. He ran the most metres for Brisbane (207), and also made the most tackles (41). He is a two-way hard-working classic footy player, who knows his job and excels in it as well as anyone.

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Tristan Sailor

Tristan Sailor. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Tristan Sailor made a great impression and will give Kevin Walters a headache. Billy Walters has been starting at hooker and Tyson Smoothy has been the utility player off the bench. After Sailor’s superb performance against the Cowboys, he has convinced everyone that he deserves a spot in the 17 somewhere.

He will likely have at least another couple of weeks to impress in the starting fullback role, although Walsh is pushing to be back by Round 6.

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Smoothy has been great off the bench; good enough that fans are wanting him too start at hooker over Walters, who has been under the pump more than any other Bronco this season, although he responded well against the Cowboys, scoring the opening try.

Sailor and Smoothy are both better players and Kevin Walters should look at playing Smoothy as his starting hooker, as he’s rarely made a negative play when he’s on the field.

Sailor could then come off the bench and that would remove Walters from the 17. This would be a tough decision; however it needs to be trialled as Billy seems to make a lot of unnecessary plays that lead to errors.

Kevin Walters trialled having Corey Oates on the bench against the Cowboys to cover injuries out wide or have the option to throw him into the forwards.

Overall, this was such an important performance from Brisbane, and it build a large amount of momentum for the upcoming blockbusters against the Storm this Thursday and Dolphins in Round 6.

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