Hala handed debut for Broncos - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hala handed debut for Broncos

By Wayne Heming 31/07/2009 02:50:54 PM Comments (0)

He may have escaped the fanfare generated two years by boom young forward Dave Taylor, but Dave Hala makes his NRL debut with perennial finalists Brisbane under heavy pressure to win against Canberra on Saturday.

Hala debuts in a Brisbane side with only one late change following confirmation code jumper Karmichael Hunt will slot in at halfback inside Darren Lockyer to give the Broncos an experienced halves base.

As a result, Hala, 19, has won a bench spot with Josh Hoffman called in to play in Hunt's fullback spot.

Coach Ivan Henjak has been impressed with the 109kg Hala's progress since his return from the Sydney Roosters where he played 11 Toyota Cup games in 2008.

The Redcliffe junior was a key member of the unbeaten 2006 Junior Kangaroos touring side to the UK which included current NRL players Israel Folau, Mitchell Pearce, Chris Sandow and Shannon Walker.

He's played 17 games for Brisbane's U-20s this year, scoring six tries and virtually forcing Henjak to give him his chance with some of his bigger name players under-performing.

Canberra field the biggest pack in the NRL and Hala's size off the bench, plus his speed and ball playing skills, loom as bonuses for Brisbane whose season goes in the line against the Raiders.

"I'm more than happy to give Dave a go, he's having a good year in the 20s," said Henjak

"He's definitely a player we're looking into the future with.

"He's big and he's been making good metres and scoring tries in the under 20s and we've been quite impressed.

"He's quite mobile for a big man."

With Taylor heading to South Sydney next season, Hala can take some big steps towards securing his future.

Henjak didn't hide the situation ninth-placed Brisbane were in or the urgency to get a win.

"It's an important game, we're getting to a point where it's got to be now," said Henjak.

Asked if he was worried to be playing a side which had been bagged and written off, Henjak said: "I think they're talking about us in the same light, aren't they?"

The 14th-placed Raiders would need to win their last six games to have an outside chance of making the finals.

Halfback Marc Herbert (broken wrist) is out injured with Josh McCrone set to wear the No.7.

Hooker Glen Buttriss has been dumped with skipper Alan Tongue to start at dummy-half with Travis Waddell joining the bench.

Daniel Joyce has been named 18th man.

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