Thaiday axed over tardiness at training - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thaiday axed over tardiness at training

07/08/2008 06:34:46 PM Comments (0)

The Brisbane Broncos flew to Auckland without in-form representative forward Sam Thaiday after he was dumped from the side to play the New Zealand Warriors for disciplinary reasons.

Brisbane maintained its hard line and axed Thaiday after he missed a forwards training session on Wednesday.

It was a double blow for the Broncos who also failed to have Test and Origin centre Justin Hodges cleared of a contrary conduct charge at Wednesday night's NRL judiciary in Sydney.

They could also be forced to take on the physical Warriors without tackling machine David Stagg who remained in Brisbane with his wife expected to give birth on Friday.

Thaiday's excellent recent form could not save him after he failed to turn up on time for Wednesday's session.

"We've been pretty hard on that this year," said Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen.

"I know Greg Eastwood has suffered in that regard and I know Dave Taylor has and we have to maintain those standards.

"It's unfortunate for us, particularly when we're wounded.

"Stagg won't travel over unless his wife has the baby before the game and Justin's out, so is Tonie Carroll, so it comes at a bad time for us.

"It's a game made for Sam, he's shortish, stocky, low to the ground and probably a bit muddy and they're a very physical pack.

"He'd been in pretty good form and playing close to 80 minutes.

"But you can't pick and choose when discipline is broken when you punish them."

Assistant coach Ivan Henjak said Thaiday would be a big loss but discipline had to be maintained.

"He's been leading the way for us and he's going to be a big loss on top of the loss of Hodgo (Hodges) as well," said Henjak before the team left for Auckland.

"It's put us behind the eight ball a little bit and it will be a challenge for a few other players to step up."

Brisbane will have to beat the Warriors in difficult conditions against a hostile Kiwi crowd to keep their final four hopes alive.

Henjak said a similar game against the Warriors in 2006 was a turning point on their way to winning premiership.

"I remember in 2006 we played a similar game against the Warriors in Auckland and it was a really tough physical battle," he said.

"We ended up just getting away with the game but it was one of the games that set us up for 2006.

"It was game that gave us a lot of confidence about being able to grind out a win and I'm hoping we can do the same on Saturday night."

Kiwi Test utility Greg Eastwood came off the bench and had a blinder that afternoon.

Eastwood played his best game of the season against Canberra last weekend and will be keen to impress the New Zealand selectors against the powerful Warriors.

"With the guys we've got out, Greg's really going to have to play well on Saturday," said Henjak.

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