NEWS The numbers behind Broncos slump, and the axing that could spark change

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Brendan Piakura has provided an insight into why he failed to retain his place in the Queensland Maroons squad, revealing the taxing impact rugby league’s plateaus could have on young players.

Piakura and his Broncos teammates Selwyn Cobbo and Ezra Mam – all aged 22 or under – were omitted from the game two State of Origin team.

Cobbo was the only member of the trio to take the field in the series opener, joining the fray following Reece Walsh’s concussion seven minutes into the clash.

But the Brisbane centre was not selected, with Queensland coach Billy Slater citing the wear and strain the livewire had been under, revealing he had been playing with pain-killing injections.

Before the Broncos’ clash with the Warriors, Piakura declared Cobbo was “flying now” and ready to take his place alongside returning winger Jesse Arthars, who trained strongly on Monday ahead of his hopeful comeback from a fractured jaw.

The rookie edge forward admitted that Origin preparation, amid the rigours of the NRL season, had taken a toll on the young contingent before last weekend’s bye, but the experience of being under Slater’s tutelage had ignited the fire to return to the fore.

“He just said that we’re young and need to have a rest, and I’m totally grateful for what he did for me and taking me to my first camp,” Piakura said.

“It’s unreal, all the brains in that squad and the coaching staff especially, there’s a lot of high-IQ footy players, so [there were] a lot of brains to pick off in that camp.

“Just his [Slater’s] detail in everything, I think that’s what most of the boys have been saying about Billy Slater’s coaching. Just the details in every position on the field and what you need to do in the game as well, it was a good camp.”

Piakura could be crucial to the Broncos’ hopes of overturning a run of three-straight losses, with his back row partner Jordan Riki suspended for the next two weeks.

Coach Kevin Walters may also opt to keep his State of Origin stars on ice for the trip to New Zealand, depending on the workload the likes of key forwards Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan take in the Origin match on Wednesday night.

Should the pair not line up, pressure will build on the remaining members of the pack to find another gear, having come under fire for not replicating their respective feats throughout the recent losing streak.

Bench middle Kobe Hetherington believed there was enough cavalry to offset the potential loss of the marquee duo.

He said Brisbane’s skyrocketing error rate (180, and 44 in the past three games) had led to fatigue on the field – making 360 more tackles than their rivals in the recent losses – and the return of Arthars would help take the heat off.

“His back field carries, and he’s one tough bugger too, so he’s going to be good for us. It’s a big thing for us forwards – those plays one, two and three, especially in getting out of your own half – and Jesse is one of the best at doing that,” Hetherington said.

“I’m confident as, obviously we’ve got big X [Xavier Willison] who’s been playing some good footy and CJ [Corey Jensen] as well, he’s in good form.

“Myself, I have to step up, and I’ll step up if Patty isn’t right to play. But hopefully, they’re all right to play.”

Sydney Morning Herald
 
1

1910

International Rep
Apr 14, 2013
15,164
18,745
Piakura is a lot like Dave Taylor, you need to mentally keep him in games. He can't just be watching out the window as dad drives. He switches off and looks around a lot.

Ahearn, Gamble and Reynolds keep his mind on task and constantly talking to him.
 
Super Freak

Super Freak

International Captain
Forum Staff
Jan 25, 2014
42,018
31,140
Piakura is a lot like Dave Taylor, you need to mentally keep him in games. He can't just be watching out the window as dad drives. He switches off and looks around a lot.

Ahearn, Gamble and Reynolds keep his mind on task and constantly talking to him.

To me that just strengthens the case to put him back to the bench.

If he needs to be reminded to stay focused, he shouldn’t be an 80 minute player.
 
1

1910

International Rep
Apr 14, 2013
15,164
18,745
To me that just strengthens the case to put him back to the bench.

If he needs to be reminded to stay focused, he shouldn’t be an 80 minute player.

Can work the opposite, bench players need to be pretty adaptable. Piakura sitting there unsure if he's coming on playing centre or second row and what's his role and score would use up a lot of his energy. I would almost bank on an error or penalty within one minute of him getting on.

Think debut v Sharks off the bench- on 58 minutes

Penalty 63 minute.
On report- 64 minute
Sin Bin-64 minute

11 minutes and two weeks suspension.

You could potentially get worse results. He certainly doesn't have 80 minutes of football in him though.
 
Emanon

Emanon

QCup Player
Apr 26, 2021
263
238
We lost a lot of experience and replaced it with potential. Mariner, Piakura Mam and Willison will get there, it will just take time and experience.

Its hard to admit, but we may also need to look at the future of the captaincy if the run of form continues. Carrigan is great from a modern organisational perspective, but could he drag this team to victory single handedly on the field?
 
mitch222

mitch222

State of Origin Captain
Apr 4, 2014
8,385
8,089
We lost a lot of experience and replaced it with potential. Mariner, Piakura Mam and Willison will get there, it will just take time and experience.

Its hard to admit, but we may also need to look at the future of the captaincy if the run of form continues. Carrigan is great from a modern organisational perspective, but could he drag this team to victory single handedly on the field?
Are you fucking kidding. Carrigan is the heart and soul of this team. He has pretty much carried this side since Reynolds went down with injury. All our wins he was in the top 3 players on the field every game at least if not the best.
 
Emanon

Emanon

QCup Player
Apr 26, 2021
263
238
Are you fucking kidding. Carrigan is the heart and soul of this team. He has pretty much carried this side since Reynolds went down with injury. All our wins he was in the top 3 players on the field every game at least if not the best.
Sorry if that came out wrong. I mean would he refuse to lose? Like Cleary in the Grand Final last year or Tallis rag dolling Hodgson in origin.
 

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