Broncos to watch Bird carefully - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos to watch Bird carefully

By Wayne Heming 13/05/2010 04:58:01 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane is set to do some serious bird watching in Friday night's NRL derby against the Gold Coast with coach Ivan Henjak nominating a representative-hungry Greg Bird as a major threat.

Bird made the pilgrimage back from France to try and resurrect his State of Origin career, which he can do with a blockbuster game against the Broncos three days before NSW selectors pick their side to play Queensland.

Fuelled by a disappointing trial Origin trial for Country against City a week ago, Bird will be keen to remind Blues' selectors of his value with an aggressive display against the Broncos.

Bird was man-of-the-match in two of the three Origin he's started since making his debut off the bench in Sydney in game two of the 2007 series.

In those games he and Paul Gallen rattled Queensland with their aggression and Blues' selectors may opt for that same style in the opening game on Wednesday week.

"He's a class player, he's a representative player, he's played for Australia," said Henjak, wary of Bird's potential to unsettle Brisbane with his physical style.

"He's a big aggressive guy who carries the footy really well, he's a good defender and he has a kicking game as well so he brings a lot to a game," added Henjak who was keen to sign Bird when he was club-less earlier in the year.

"He's another foil for (Preston) Campbell, Scott Prince and (Nathan) Friend."

"One thing Bird gives the Titans that they have lacked is some confidence having him around them.

"When you've got a top-top-shelfer there, it doesn't matter what position or jumper you put him in, he's certainly going to bring confidence to your team."

"He's played at the highest level and he's got a lot of experience and he's a real positive for them this year."

Bird and Prince go up ahead quality opposition in Darren Lockyer and Peter Wallace who returns from a knee injury along with Matt Gillett, Nick Kenny and Antoni Winterstein.

The Titans' in-form fullback Campbell passed a fitness test on Thursday but teammate Clinton Toopi (knee) was not so fortunate, replaced in the centres by Josh Graham who suffered an ankle injury against the Broncos in last year's semi final loss at Skilled Park.

Lockyer will be playing his third game in seven days but Henjak said he had no doubt the Broncos skipper would get the job done again.

"He's got plenty of experience, I don't want to try and hide him," said Henjak.

"We're confident he can and will do the job.

"He's the captain of our side and he's got to lead by example and I'm sure he will."

Brisbane will try and put as much pressure on Titans playmaker Scott Prince who is recovering from thumb surgery.

"He's a bit hard to get at, he defends in the centres a lot but if we get a chance to run at him, I'm sure the guys will give it a shot," said Henjak.

Both sides put some extra work into their field goal kicking at training with two of their last four meetings being decided by golden point.

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