Lockyer's our money man: Broncos coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer's our money man: Broncos coach

By Wayne Heming 08/09/2009 06:38:58 PM Comments (0)

Rookie Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak reckons Darren Lockyer is still the best big-game money man in the business and he wouldn't swap him for anyone else contesting the finals, including Parramatta sensation Jarryd Hayne.

Hayne has been hailed by some of the game's greats including Knights halfback Andrew Johns as potentially the best ever. But Henjak said he wouldn't part with Lockyer who had the runs on the board with four grand final wins for the club.

"I wouldn't swap Darren for any player, Hayne included," said Henjak on the eve of his first finals campaign since taking over from master coach Wayne Bennett this season.

"Our teams runs off what Locky does. We've been doing that for so long we'd miss him even if we had a Jarryd Hayne or someone like that.

"We're used to playing with Locky, so I wouldn't swap him."

Henjak said Lockyer's return to his aggressive defence was a great sign for the Broncos heading into the finals.

"He's on top of things at the moment," he said.

"You certainly know when he is focused and when he is on and he's certainly been that over the past month or so."

Lockyer, who broke through the 300-game barrier this season, was the target of some harsh criticism before this year's State of Origin series with questions being asked about his defence and fitness.

As always, he silenced those critics.

"Look, he's had his reasons. That knee was worrying him and he had his Origin commitments as well which take away some of the focus," Henjak said.

"He's mentally drained after (Origin) but that's all out of the way and his knee is feeling a lot better.

"He is our money man.

"He puts on so many of the things that turn games for us.

"He's the guy we look for, he's our best decision-maker."

Henjak said he expected Titans dual international Mat Rogers would overcome hamstring concerns to play on Saturday night's qualifying final at Skilled Park.

There was a feeling in league circles that Rogers was taken off in the first half last weekend against Manly, who were leading 22-0, more to save him for the first round of the finals than because of a hamstring "tweak".

"They could be (foxing) and we're expecting him to play," said Henjak, tipped to be offered a contract extension when the club reviews his performance later in the year.

"We're preparing that way but we're focusing more on what we have to do than whether he will play.

"It's a big game and I'm sure if there's any chance of him being out there, they'll take the risk."

Rogers, who has been twittering friends that his chances of playing are looking brighter each day, was named at five-eighth in an extended Titans squad by coach John Cartwright.

The Titans squad also includes injury comebacks by bustling centre Brett Delaney (hamstring) and red-haired prop Brad Meyers (hand).

Meyers, who won a premiership with the Broncos before playing in the UK, will run out for his 148th NRL game.

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