NEWS ‘I’ll be ready’: Why Broncos guns could soon be heated rivals

BHQArticleImageLarge51


Kotoni Staggs has declared that if a State of Origin recall came his way, he would be ready to answer a Blues SOS, despite being ruled out of what would have been his final audition.

The Brisbane centre has been withdrawn from Sunday’s clash with the Gold Coast Titans due to a fractured rib, an injury coach Kevin Walters said he could have played with but opted to remain on the side of caution.

It would have been his last chance to impress upon New South Wales coach Michael Maguire that he is the man to help inspire a revival south of the Tweed.

Staggs will need to hope his form has been enough to fend off challenges from Latrell Mitchell, Matt Burton, Jesse Ramien, Joseph Sua’ali’i and Izack Tago for one spot, with Bulldogs skipper Stephen Crichton tipped to take the other.

Thus far, the 24-year-old has done his chances of adding to his sole Blues cap (in 2022) no harm – running for 114m, with more than two tackle busts, per game, while producing his best defensive season (more than 16 tackles a game at 87 per cent efficiency).

That record off the ball is what has impressed Broncos Walters throughout the season, leading him to suggest Staggs was producing his career-best form earlier in the campaign.

But Staggs admitted that while he craved an Origin comeback, he was not allowing those ambitions to hinder his focus at clubland.

“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about Origin. My job is for the Broncos, and if I play good footy in a Broncos jersey, that might find my way into a Blues jersey,” he said on Tuesday morning, before his injury news broke.

“But right now, I’m focused on playing good footy for the club, and this is my first priority. I want to be back there [in the Origin arena] – that’s where the best footy players play, and it’s the biggest game of the year.

“If I just do all my hard work in a Broncos jersey, I might find myself back in a Blues jersey, and if that call comes, I’ll be ready.”

If selected, Staggs could line up against his Brisbane centre partner, Selwyn Cobbo, whom he labelled a must-pick for the Queensland side.

Cobbo played in the Maroons’ series-opening win last year – scoring twice and running 109m, with four tackle busts – before succumbing to a hip injury during the contest.

He was ruled out of Game II, replaced by Xavier Coates, and was unable to claim his place on the flank, but Staggs believes his teammate’s versatility – having shifted to centre this year before impressing at fullback in Reece Walsh’s absence against Manly – warranted a recall.

“He only got a late notice that he was going to play fullback, and he didn’t train there all week … he played out of position and didn’t look like he was out of position,” Staggs said.

“I reckon he deserves the Queensland jersey, for sure. He’s still young and … he loves learning, and he’s been going good this year.”

Cobbo will still be met with stiff competition when Maroons coach Billy Slater names his team next week, after Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi and Coates all returned from hamstring injuries in Magic Round.

Working in Cobbo’s favour could be his fitness – missing just one game with a minor finger issue – but Tabuai-Fidow confirmed he was not suffering any lingering effects from his injury.

“It feels good. I had those four weeks off being injured, but I think I worked hard on it. I’m back to 100 per cent,” Tabuai-Fidow said.

“I felt confident and to ... go at the speed I was going at, I didn’t have too many worries.

“I’m obviously keen. If I do get the call, I’ll have two games under my belt, which is good for my hammy. I just need to go out there and perform well to get that call.”

Sydney Morning Herald
 
Cavalo

Cavalo

NYC Player
Sep 20, 2019
152
367
Cobbo over Coates is a no-brainer. Coates has gotten better but is a level below Selwyn. And his performance in Game 3 last year was poor.
I don't think Kotoni will be picked and hopefully that puts a bee in his bonnet to dominate in clubland.
 
lynx000

lynx000

State of Origin Rep
Contributor
Jul 28, 2008
6,464
8,541
It is nice that we seem to have depth across all positions even with the injuries we have (for Qld).

I can remember 3-4 years ago we were struggling to come up with a centre pairing.

Now we have Holmes, Hammer, Cobbo, Gagai (who has been playing okay for Newcastle).

In the halves we have a mixture of DCE, Hunt, Walker, Munster (I know he is out now) Dearden, Mam.

It is a nice change.
 
lynx000

lynx000

State of Origin Rep
Contributor
Jul 28, 2008
6,464
8,541
Walsh can’t goal kick? Taulagi’s defense is elite.
I rate Holmes as a better kicker than Walsh. In a tight series it could make all the difference. Holmes is more than decent as a winger.
 
Jedhead

Jedhead

State of Origin Rep
Contributor
Jan 8, 2018
6,264
12,743
I think Val's star is on the wane. Mind you he has come up with some special origin moments over the years so I'm not knocking him. he just seems way down on form at the moment.
 
BroncsFan

BroncsFan

International Captain
Contributor
Jul 28, 2016
20,985
30,780
Speaking of Val he is another player coming off contract end of 2025... a centre that can play fullback... and also spent a lot of time at a Sydney club.

Can understand why no club would be interested in him and therefore no reason for media to speculate 🙄🙄
 
Mustafur

Mustafur

State of Origin Captain
Contributor
Jun 13, 2019
9,249
13,475
I rate Holmes as a better kicker than Walsh. In a tight series it could make all the difference. Holmes is more than decent as a winger.
Walsh is more than good enough at it that it shouldn't even be a factor imo.
 
theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
14,693
33,647
I’d pick Holmes over Coates game 1 and see how he goes. He has the runs the board and has been an unreal morning winger.

Also prevents too little experience in the back + goal kicking
 
Wolfie

Wolfie

International Captain
Jan 14, 2015
22,424
35,844
If Staggs plays hope Selwyn absolutely smashes the **** into oblivion. That goes for any of those vile grubby nswelshmen that come up against our boys.
 
Manofoneway

Manofoneway

NRL Player
May 22, 2022
1,479
3,905
If Staggs plays hope Selwyn absolutely smashes the **** into oblivion. That goes for any of those vile grubby nswelshmen that come up against our boys.
I couldn't give two shits about origin. It's a gimmick. I hope all of the boys escape injury free so that we can all forget about it the following day and enjoy the rest of the season.
 
Wolfie

Wolfie

International Captain
Jan 14, 2015
22,424
35,844
I couldn't give two shits about origin. It's a gimmick. I hope all of the boys escape injury free so that we can all forget about it the following day and enjoy the rest of the season.
I think the players would disagree its a gimmick, especially the Queenslanders. Its the most prized thing you can do is play for your state as a Queenslander.

You simply dont get something as big as Origin is by it being a gimmick. Its the pinnacle of rugby league.
 
Manofoneway

Manofoneway

NRL Player
May 22, 2022
1,479
3,905
I think the players would disagree its a gimmick, especially the Queenslanders. Its the most prized thing you can do is play for your state as a Queenslander.

You simply dont get something as big as Origin is by it being a gimmick. Its the pinnacle of rugby league.
Yeah it's big to the players and the casual fans but everybody forgets about it two days after the series ends and in the scheme of things means **** all. Should be played at the end of the series with the other gimmick rubbish.
 

Active Now

  • JamesC
  • ChewThePhatt
  • Santa
  • Clintos
  • Broncorob
  • I bleed Maroon
  • bb_gun
  • 1910
Top
  AdBlock Message
Please consider adding BHQ to your Adblock Whitelist. We do our best to make sure it doesn't affect your experience on the website, and the funds help us pay server and software costs.