Karmichael Hunt, Wallace out for Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Karmichael Hunt, Wallace out for Broncos

23/07/2009 03:22:37 PM Comments (0)

Embattled coach Ivan Henjak ruled out one Hunt and called in another for Friday's NRL showdown with the Gold Coast as the misfiring Broncos suffered a late double injury blow.

Just when it seemed things couldn't get worse for Henjak with skipper Darren Lockyer, Sam Thaiday, Israel Folau, Nick Kenny and Tonie Carroll all sidelined, he had to put on a brave face after ruling out fullback Karmichael Hunt (corked thigh) and halfback Peter Wallace (hamstring).

Teenage halfback prospect Ben Hunt, who endured a horror debut last month against Cronulla, will wear the No.7 while another rising youngster, Josh Hoffman, will take over at fullback.

Henjak, a former Canberra halfback, admitted Hunt had been thrown to the wolves somewhat against the Sharks during the Origin period in the youngest backline ever fielded by the club.

"It was a really tough gig, we had two really young halves," he said.

"I'm happy to be able to give him another chance because he certainly deserves one."

The Titans were clinging to hope industrious hooker Nathan Friend (ankle) would be fit enough to play despite coach John Cartwright putting former Bronco Ian Lacey and 20-year-old Kayne Lawton on standby.

Henjak could have gambled on playing Karmichael Hunt and Wallace despite their injury concerns with ninth-placed Brisbane desperate for premiership points.

But the potential price was losing them both longterm.

"It was a bit disappointing we lost Wal (Wallace) and K (Hunt) this morning," said Henjak.

"I guess we could have shown some desperation and tried to push a few of those guys through but the risk involved with that is we could have lost them for four weeks and we couldn't afford that.

"K was too much of a risk. I didn't want to lose him in the first five minutes and be down a player.

"K wanted to play but the longer the (training) session went the more it became apparent he just wasn't right.

"He couldn't take a knock on it and he couldn't really stride out either."

Henjak said everyone's head was up at the club despite a tough six weeks in which they managed just one win from six games.

"We get nowhere when we drop our heads and get negative about things and start looking over our shoulders or sideways at the bloke next to us and seeing what he's doing wrong," he said.

"We made a pact we're in this together and we're going to stick together, stay positive and keep working hard.

"If we do that, we'll work our way out of it and that's the attitude we've got."

Henjak hasn't been able to play his first-choice backline since Wallace, Lockyer, Steve Michaels, Israel Folau, Justin Hodges, Anthony Winterstein and Karmichael Hunt lined up against Newcastle in April.

Things should improve dramatically next week against Canberra with Lockyer, Kenny, Hunt, Carroll, Wallace all a chance of playing.

Sportingbet Australia reacted to the injury toll by rolling Brisbane's odds out to $3.75 against the Titans - the longest odds they could remember offering about them in the last 10 years.

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