Hunt out of clash with Warriors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hunt out of clash with Warriors

02/07/2009 05:12:01 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak says the presence of Brisbane's "new kid" Tonie Carroll has given the struggling Broncos a big lift for Friday's NRL clash with the Warriors.

Not even the loss of fullback Karmichael Hunt with a sprained ankle could undermine the mood in the Broncos camp on Thursday as they prepared to welcome 33-year-old defensive hardman Carroll back to the fold.

"The new kid looks great," quipped Henjak, showing no signs of stress despite the Broncos slipping out of the top eight with last week's loss to Parramatta.

"There's a spring in his step and he has brought some new enthusiasm to the place.

"There has been a mood change with the players. They feel a bit more confident with him being there and he talks really well, especially in the defensive line.

"If we can get 30 minutes out of him that will be huge in his first game."

Henjak said it was too much of a risk to ask Hunt to back up five days after turning his ankle against Parramatta.

"'K' just didn't have the range to be able to run properly and it was a big risk to try and get 80 minutes out of him after a five-day turnaround," he said.

"Maybe if he had another two days he might have been right."

Mackay product Josh Hoffman, 21, will stand in at fullback against Warriors.

"Josh played two games last year and he is a good kid," said Henjak, forced to blood a few youngsters this season, including Dale Copley and Ben Hunt against the Sharks.

"Josh had surgery at the beginning of the year so he hasn't played a lot of footy this year which is why we didn't use him in the Sharks game. He had only just come back."

Henjak didn't want to get into speculation about who would be Brisbane's fullback next season following confirmation Hunt would head overseas to play rugby union.

"Karmichael is going to be here this year and we'll make those decisions in pre-season next year who's going to play fullback," he said.

"Josh is certainly in the picture."

The Warriors, whose desperation will match Brisbane's, have been in camp on the Gold Coast all week building up for the clash.

Both sides need a win, with the Broncos on a worrying form slide and facing another Origin campaign to negotiate before getting all their players back.

The Warriors slipped to 11th with last week's loss to the Gold Coast.

"It won't be fatal if either side loses but it certainly puts a little bit more pressure on," he said.

Apart from Carroll's comeback, the Broncos also have centre Justin Hodges back in action after a knee injury.

Hodges hasn't played since the first State of Origin game in Melbourne on June 4.

His absence has been linked to the flood of points recently put on them.

"He's good first-up after a spell when he's fresh," Henjak said.

"It doesn't matter whether he's played 10 games or one game. When he's in the right mood he's very good."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news