Kemp on way back after setback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Kemp on way back after setback

By Wayne Heming 22/12/2009 04:30:46 PM Comments (0)

Comeback kid Denan Kemp threw a massive scare into Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak at training recently when he appeared to suffer a bad knee injury during a simple drill.

"I thought his season was finished before it started," admitted Henjak.

While the news wasn't great for Kemp - a medial strain and six weeks of rehab - at least he will be available for season 2010 after a rotten 2009 with the Warriors in which he hardly got on the field after a dynamic try-filled year with Brisbane.

Kemp didn't fit into the Warriors and spent much of 2009 playing for their feeder club the Auckland Vulcans before being granted a release from his contract to return to Brisbane.

"He was running a really good line and got ambushed by Ben Hunt, whose tackle buckled his knee," said Henjak.

"It looked a bit nasty but we're very thankful it's only six weeks and he'll be right after Christmas."

Henjak said Kemp had impressed everyone with his determination to get back into top shape and reclaim his place in Brisbane's backline.

"He came back from Auckland as a fat little kid, badly out of shape," said Henjak.

"But when he turned up for pre-season he was in fantastic nick, so he obviously went away and did a heap of work.

"He'd been training the house down and I was so disappointed for him the injury occurred when it did because he was flying."

Kemp is one of the options to play fullback following the departure of representative star Karmichael Hunt, but he can also play on the wing with his blistering speed and sidestep.

A try he scored for Brisbane from fullback in 2007 was Billy Salter-like and he will be an asset for Brisbane in 2010.

Another player pushing for a surprise start is young forward Rohan Ahern who, like Kemp, has been impressing his coach with his work at training.

Ahern, from the same Brisbane college which produced Dane Carlaw and Dave Shillington, has put on seven kilos since joining Brisbane and is very mobile for his size.

"I've come here to play first grade, not to run around in the Queensland Cup," said Ahern, signed by the Roosters out of school at the age of 16.

Henjak said everything Ahern had done pre-season had shown him he was "hungry".

"He came here at 94kg and we asked him to get to 100kg which he's done," the coach said.

"He's worked his backside off and he hasn't been an ounce of trouble.

"He's got a hardness and toughness about him that I like and you need those type of players in your pack.

"I just hope nobody has taken their position for granted because some of those young blokes might put their hand up and knock someone of their perch.

"The side will be picked on form and reputations won't mean much once we hit the trials."

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