NRL Broncos' Thaiday to lead by example - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL Broncos' Thaiday to lead by example

By David Beniuk 22/09/2011 06:52:14 PM Comments (0)

The bullocking charges of Brisbane's Sam Thaiday will be all the captaincy that Brisbane need when the tough backrower leads the NRL club in the absence of injured skipper Darren Lockyer.

Thaiday will mark his return from a two-match suspension with the 'c' next to his name in Friday night's preliminary final against Manly.

The Test forward has been named to lead the Broncos after Lockyer's retirement next year but leapfrogged current vice-captain Corey Parker for the job at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Coach Anthony Griffin said Thaiday only needed to make his trademark rampaging runs to have performed the role well.

"We've got a fair player coming back into the team and he's nice and fresh and he'll lead the team tomorrow night, so he's jumping out of his skin," Griffin said.

"He'll just lead from the front.

"I'm expecting just a real solid game of football out of him, that's the best thing you can do."

Thaiday's return has been overshadowed by the facial fracture that ruled Lockyer out this week, but he will be a massive boost for the Broncos who won their opening two finals games without him.

Ironically it was for a lifting tackle on Sea Eagles prop Brent Kite in round 26 that he was outed for the qualifying final against the Warriors and semi-final against St George Illawarra.

Thaiday will lead a side heavy with talented youngsters, including Lockyer's replacement at five-eighth Matt Gillett, fullback Gerard Beale and 21-year-old winger Jharal Yow Yeh who has already tasted Test football.

Griffin said his baby Broncos had answered every question asked of them in 2011 and they could do that again.

"Up until now, they've hit every mark we've asked them (to) and now they're just enjoying the build up," he said.

"All you can do is get them ready and see what happens.

"Last week against St George, there hadn't been any bigger test for us this year than that and they handled that.

"So we freshen them up and get them ready again and they're in good spirits so hopefully they handle what comes at them tomorrow night."

Griffin said Gillett, normally a backrower, would be a key part of the plan to shut down gun Manly halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran.

"They're two great players and defensively we've just got to do our best on them," he said.

"With Matt Gillett out there it gives us a bit more size and a bit more whack there as well.

"They're two good kids and they're in great form and we've just got to do a good job on them."

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