The Centralian Advocate Tue 29 Mar 2022
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Tuesday March 29 2022 SPORT 29 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA BRISBANE great Corey Parker has put a rocket up the underperforming Broncos pack, telling them to stop letting Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan do everything. Parkers call comes in the wake of the Broncos copping a 38-12 hiding from North Queensland, which he described as reality check for Kevin Walters side. The Broncos were forced to sift through the wreckage of a chastening loss and head back to the drawing board ahead of Saturdays clash with the Warriors at Redcliffe. According to Fox Sports Lab statistics, strike centre Kotoni Staggs made five runs for 70m against the Cowboys, which pales in comparison to his opposite number Valentine Holmes, who made 18 runs for 173m and a try. Similarly Broncos backrower Kurt Capewell made five runs for 43m, when Cowboys backrowers Tom Gilbert and Jeremiah Nanai combined for 30 runs, 223m and three tries. Parker praised the efforts of Broncos forwards Payne Haas (12 runs, 151m) and Patrick Carrigan (14 runs, 127m) but urged the rest of the team to step up to their level. Without Payne and Pat in the middle, who does their work? Parker said. You cant redline those blokes every week. Collectively, as a team, they need to even the workload out a little bit more. It was a bit of a reality check for them and a punch in the face, as Kevie (Walters) put it. Staggs is just three games back from major knee surgery but Walters admitted after the game his strike centre needs to be better for us, and he knows that a sentiment that was echoed by Parker. I get that hes coming back from a knee reconstruction, and were probably not going to see the best of him in round 3, but it doesnt eliminate him from getting his hands on the ball, he said. Parker calls out battling Broncos Chris Honnery Brisbane just looked really good. We wanted to win on the weekend so we didnt have to rely on the other results but as devastated as we were that we didnt get the win, we knew there was still a chance. Weve got the chance now to keep our season alive so weve got to make the most of it. Brisbane will play the Roosters in the first versus IT WAS a bittersweet feeling for the Roosters playing group who were watching Brisbanes 38-4 thrashing of the Eels on Sunday afternoon. On one hand, it meant they would sneak into the finals on points differential after losing to the Dragons on Saturday but on the other, it means they now have to face the threetime NRLW premiers in this weekends semi-final clash. Roosters skipper Corban Baxter admitted she was a little nervous watching the match. The Broncos were on, after coming off a loss, and poor Parramatta had to face that, Baxter (pictured) said. Chris Honnery fourth match, while the Dragons will battle it out with the Titans in the second versus third clash in the first ever NRLW semi-final, to be played at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. The Broncos proved just how dominant they can be with their comprehensive win over Parramatta, and Baxter is under no illusion of the challenge that faces them on Saturday. Its going to be a tough task to beat them, she said. Theyve got a solid spine and then their middle is very good, so across the park they have strength everywhere. Were just going to have to try our best to match them in the middle. NRL CLEARS BURGESS TO RESUME PLAYING Chooks sneak in, face toughest task GEORGE Burgess has earned a reprieve after the NRL opted not to ban the St George Illawarra prop under the games no-fault stand-down policy. Burgess was charged with sexual touching without consent last week after a woman made a complaint to NSW Police. But CEO Andrew Abdo did not invoke discretionary powers to suspend the 29-year-old. Players charged with a crime that carries a sentence of 11 years or longer are automatically stood down by the NRL. The charge Burgess is facing carries a maximum fiveyear sentence and does not automatically trigger the nofault stand-down policy. Its believed facts in the case are being disputed. The coronavirus pandemic has also caused a backlog in the NSW court system and Burgess is likely to face a delay in having the matter heard. Burgess was granted conditional bail and will appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Wednesday, April 13. He is free to be selected to play against the Parramatta Eels on Sunday. Dragons winger Cody Ramsey is set to miss the game against Parramatta after injuring a hamstring. TEENAGE Cowboys sensation Jeremiah Nanai has been offered more than $600,000 a season after his hat-trick heroics in North Queenslands derby demolition of the Broncos. The Cowboys now face a $1.8m battle to retain Nanai as six NRL rivals, including Wayne Bennetts Dolphins, circle the seven-game rookie. Nanai, 19, has become the hottest young forward property following his three tries in the Cowboys 38-12 win at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. He is a free agent for next year and his value has soared as high as his athletic frame when he leapt for two of his three tries in a brilliant display. The Dolphins and Newcastle, whose recruitment chief Clint Zammit first spotted Nanai while working at the Cowboys, are among the clubs plotting to poach him with three-year deals. Nanais manager Sam Ayoub has been inundated with interest in the backrower but Cowboys coach Todd Payten has vowed to fight to keep the skilful youngster in North Queensland. It was a brilliant performance from Jeremiah and theres no shortage of interest in him, Ayoub said. I dont want to speculate on figures but his value has increased since the start of the season and a number of clubs have been in touch making it clear they would like to talk to Jeremiah. The Cowboys tabled an offer last year to extend Jeremiah but at that stage I didnt want him to worry about contracts. The focus was purely on football. I indicated to the Cowboys that we wanted to wait until around rounds four to six to begin talks and now that the Broncos derby is out of the way, we will progress things in the coming weeks. Nanais form will put more pressure on the Cowboys salary cap, especially after they outlayed major funds to secure Tigers backrower Luciano Leilua for next season, but Payten is determined not to lose a bidding war. Im optimistic we will keep Jeremiah, Payten said. I understand he will at tract attention, which all good players do, but we are keen to have him around. Thats exactly why this club was founded, to make sure North Queensland kids have a club to aspire to play for. Some of the stuff I see Jeremiah do at training just blows my mind. He is high on the priority list to sign. We believe this is the right club for him. I know he is happy and this is home, and we will be doing our very best to make sure he is here for a long time. Another battle looms for Nanai on the representative front. The Maroons are set to win another selection tug-ofwar over New Zealand because Nanai is keen to declare his allegiance to Queensland. It is understood Nanai, who has been rated the Cowboys best forward prospect since Jason Taumalolo, is leaning towards the Maroons despite being eligible to represent the Kiwis or Samoa at this years World Cup. In recent years, fullback Kalyn Ponga and backrower Jaydn SuA have knocked back New Zealand to play Origin for Queensland. In just his seventh NRL game, Nanai outpointed his Broncos rival Kurt Capewell and Kiwi selectors would have been salivating at the thought of blooding him at the World Cup. But Nanai and Capewell could become Origin teammates because the backrower is eligible for the Maroons. Cowboys backrower Jeremiah Nanai scores one of his three tries against the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images Peter Badel Six clubs chasing hat-trick champ