Broncos lose injured Folau until finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos lose injured Folau until finals

By Wayne Heming 04/07/2009 04:36:19 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane have paid a heavy price for their NRL return to form with star winger Israel Folau likely to be out until the finals after fracturing his ankle in the 28-14 win over the Warriors on Friday night.

Folau is expected to miss up to eight weeks of football after x-rays last night revealed the extent of the injury, sustained early in the second half of the match.

The giant flyer, who will also miss the final State of Origin match at Suncorp Stadium on July 15, will have his foot encased in a cast for two weeks before the bone is x-rayed again.

If it is judged the injury is healing sufficiently well, he'll be placed in a hinged ankle brace to complete his recovery.

It was a bitter blow for the Broncos, who otherwise had plenty to celebrate after snapping a four-game losing streak.

Whether it was the return of intimidating forward Tonie Carroll, the overdue arrival of departing young prop Dave Taylor or Langi Setu's desire to answer his critics, Brisbane's forwards appeared to get their mojo back against the Warriors.

And with the return from injury of classy representative centre Justin Hodges, the Broncos suddenly looked like premiership material again as they overran the New Zealanders in the second half.

Prop Joel Clinton had also given the home side a scare after being knocked out following a sickening head clash with Warriors centre Jerome Ropati.

But Clinton, who had blood flowing from his nose and mouth, was cleared of any major damage and, despite some facial swelling, is likely to be fine for the Broncos' next match against Souths in two weekends' time.

Carroll made an eye-catching cameo in his return after 10 months out of the game, while Taylor's aggressive running game is likely to see him come under close consideration for Origin III.

Former Brisbane skipper and now South Sydney forwards coach Gorden Tallis would have been rubbing his hands together at the thought of getting hold of Taylor when he heads to Rabbitohs territory next season.

Brisbane have invested a lot of time and effort into the 20-year-old giant, who has battled fitness and weight issues which have held his NRL career back despite his enormous potential.

"I don't care where it's been hiding so long as he keeps it going," said Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak after Taylor made 17 hit-ups for 152 metres and three tackle busts, two of which led to tries.

Taylor admitted it had been a while coming.

"I've been wanting to play a game like that for a long time now," he said.

Taylor's metres were only bettered by Hodges, who despite not having played since twisting his knee in the first Origin game in Melbourne on June 4, was close to Brisbane's best.

Hodges showed just what he means to Brisbane with an incredible game.

He made 18 runs for 158 metres, finishing the game with an amazing eight tackle breaks as Brisbane's attack finally found some potency.

It was also Setu's best game in the Broncos colours.

Banished to the Queensland Cup to work on his defence and his handling, Henjak was pleased with how his 2009 recruit responded.

Carroll also got a rap from Henjak after slotting back alongside skipper Darren Lockyer who seemed to enjoy having his old minder back riding shotgun for him.

"The younger players have noticed his talk and his presence there. If he keeps playing like that he is going to be a bonus for us," said Henjak.

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