Don't write off Broncos pack: Dowling - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Don't write off Broncos pack: Dowling

By Wayne Heming 09/03/2009 06:36:44 PM Comments (0)

Former Queensland and Australian prop Greg Dowling has warned critics against writing off Brisbane's untested forward pack.

"The reason the Broncos have been so successful over 20 years is because of what they've had up front," said Cairns-based Dowling, a no-nonsense prop who provided the fire and brimstone for the packs he played in during the 1980s.

Dowling, who played 69 games for the Broncos and a combined 23 Origin and Test matches, said everyone was waiting to see how Brisbane's forwards went.

Much has been made of whether the Broncos' 2009 pack will be able to lay a platform for their Hollywood backline following the loss of Origin prop Ben Hannant, classy hooker Michael Ennis, defensive utility David Stagg, Kiwi back-rower Greg Eastwood and veteran hitman Tonie Carroll as well as the departure of coach Wayne Bennett.

New coach Ivan Henjak has recruited well with the addition of hooker Aaron Gorrell and back-rowers Ben Te'o and Lagi Setu but a lot will depend of how props Nick Kenny and Joel Clinton stand up.

"They've still got the (Broncos) name tag and a wonderful backline, said Dowling on Monday.

"On paper it's still a bloody good side.

"I'm sure Nick Kenny will measure up and Joel Clinton has played for Australia.

"Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker have played Origin and that young kid Dave Taylor is a gun prospect."

"I wouldn't be writing them off, no way.

"They've a lot to prove, but I think they (the forwards) can aim up, I really do."

Dowling said the massive Cowboys pack, which included Tongan wrecking ball Manase Manuokafoa, Melbourne recruit Antonio Kaufusi, Origin enforcer Carl Webb, back-rower Luke O'Donnell and heavyweight props Matt Scott and Shane Tronc would provide a great test for Brisbane first-up at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

"Make no mistake, the Cowboys forwards are going to give it to Brisbane ... it's going to be a beauty," he said.

Dowling said D-Day had well and truly arrived for young Taylor.

"They've babied him, kept him under wraps, call it whatever ... it's time, it's time for Dave Taylor," he said.

"He is old enough, big enough and he's got all the athleticism to go with it."

Dowling likes what he's seen of Sweeney, a two-time Allan Langer medal winner for Ipswich in the Queensland Cup.

"I've watched Sweeney play in the Queensland Cup and he's a tough nut out of the old school," said Dowling.

"He'll go alright."

Henjak will name his first squad of the season on Tuesday with impressive young winger Antonio Winterstein, snared from the Roosters, tipped to be handed his debut.

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