Henjak backs Lockyer decision 100% - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Henjak backs Lockyer decision 100%

By Wayne Heming 31/08/2010 07:04:36 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak says he is 100 per cent behind captain Darren Lockyer's tough call to abort a brave bid to play injured in Friday night's high stakes clash NRL clash with Canberra.

While Lockyer was ruled out, half Peter Wallace - who is facing shoulder surgery - could be a last minute inclusion if his specialist gives him a green light to play on Wednesday.

Neither Lockyer or Wallace were named in Brisbane's 17-man squad on Tuesday with youngsters Ben Hunt (20) and 18 year-old Corey Norman set to resume their under-20 partnership from last season.

A disappointed Lockyer made the tough call after a private contact session convinced him his rib cartilage injury would not cop a decent hit against a monster Raiders side certain to have directed their big runners at him early to test out his injury.

Lockyer hinted after his first public training outing since a Luke O'Donnell tackle popped his rib cartilage on August 6 that he'd make a decision about playing on Thursday.

But after a brief private contact workout it became obvious it was too big a gamble and one which could seriously backfire on his team mates.

"I trained with the boys this afternoon and everything seemed to go okay," said Lockyer in a Broncos statement issued late on Tuesday.

"But when I did some private contact work I realised the injury is not ready for an NRL game yet.

"I had to make the right decision and I know I have.

"I have confidence the team can get the job done anyway and if all goes well, we will get a shot in the finals next week."

Henjak said there was too much risk in playing Lockyer despite suggestions by former Brisbane skipper Gorden Tallis he could "play in a dinner suit" and help Brisbane.

"It's just too much of a risk. Darren has played enough football to know the consequences," Henjak told AAP.

"We didn't want to put his health at risk.

"You also don't know how the team would react if he was injured in the first 10 minutes.

"I know in his heart he wants to play which is admirable and wonderful of him.

"But he also knows the position he could leave the team in if he was forced off early in the game."

Henjak said the players had to accept they needed to be able to win without Lockyer and go out and give everything they had and not bow out meekly.

Brisbane's young players have struggled with the step up in intensity in the last month after playing well in the middle of the season to dig Brisbane out of a hole.

Henjak said they had to find another gear and lift against the in-form Raiders who have won seven of their last eight games.

"They have to grow up and they have to stand up," he said.

Forward leader Sam Thaiday sat out training with a bruised sternum but a leg cut which required stitches after last Friday's loss to the Warriors was a bigger concern because of the risk of infection.

"Sam should alright, provided his cut doesn't get infected," said Henjak.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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