Infotainment Factory: Lockyer's quick fix for misfiring Broncos

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Lockyer's quick fix for misfiring Broncos


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Broncos legend and club director Darren Lockyer has spoken out on Brisbane's playmaking shortcomings, explaining how they can be fixed this season and into the future.

Short-term, Lockyer said that the Broncos needed more ball-running out of their makeshift halves pairing, Darius Boyd and Jake Turpin.

Boyd was credited with a single running metre in his side's 18-14 win over the Cowboys, while Turpin ran just 41 metres; though he scored the match-winning try.

"It was a pretty average game and I think both coaches would be disappointed by their team's performance," Lockyer said on the Sunday Footy Show, noting that as in a loss to Melbourne the previous week, the Broncos had few points to show for a decent start.

"Therein lies the problem with the Broncos at the moment. They've got a great forward pack, they get great momentum, they just can't capitalise on it.

"That comes down to probably the six and the seven. My view is that those two guys need to run the football more."

Champion five-eighth Brad Fittler added: "When someone does go forward, they're standing back.

"They're 10 metres behind them. They should be (closer); especially Jake Turpin, you'd think that'd be in his nature, being a hooker; to be on the ball. He's standing back, he must be thinking about what his next job is."

Brisbane great Sam Thaiday said that Anthony Milford should be a far bigger threat running the football, having switched from five-eighth to fullback. Even with kick returns factored in, he ran just 77 metres against the Cowboys.

"That's what I'd love to see Anthony Milford do," Thaiday said.

"Now he's playing fullback, I'd love him just to hang around the middle, hang around those big guys, hang around Tevita Pangai Jr, you've got big (Matt) Lodge there as well, Payne Haas, Tommy Flegler. They've all got an offload in them; and a late offload.

"If he isn't fit enough (for a fullback's running workload), he can just back those forwards up and he doesn't necessarily have to run it every time. He can just dish and pass. Sometimes that's some of the best play, is to catch the ball, spread it wide and try to catch a defender out of position out wide."

Lockyer said that he wanted to see Milford running the football rather than sticking with his old playmaking instincts.

"I think he's still adapting to fullback. He's still out there setting backline moves and getting the ball and passing, as opposed to thinking more about, 'I'm going to receive offloads and I'm going to be a runner'," Lockyer said.

"Sometimes you can fall into the trap of what you do at training all week; you go into a game and you just keep throwing the footy, throwing the footy, set play, set play.

"I think the Broncos, if they're going to be a chance of playing finals and doing anything in the finals, they need to play a lot more ad lib."

NRL Highlights: Cowboys v Broncos - Round 21

Lockyer said that he was pleased with Brisbane's nucleus in the forwards, which is starting to show its world-beating potential. He said that Queensland Origin forward David Fifita, off-contract in 2020 and being targeted by Parramatta, was a major retention priority.

Fittler questioned whether Brisbane was investing too much of its salary cap in forwards rather than playmakers, but Lockyer said that the Broncos intended to develop a pairing from their juniors. Five-game rookie halfback Tom Dearden is pencilled in as a long-term NRL player, alongside uncapped teen Cory Paix or four-gamer Sean O'Sullivan (20).

"We want to retain all those forward and whatever money we've got left in the cap will probably go to those kids coming through that we see as long-termers," Lockyer said.

"It's then the decision about organically growing our halves. Tommy Dearden, who's got some first-grade this year; he'll be back soon (from injury). He's going to play Q Cup next week, we think, and then after that just see how he pulls up.

"There's a young kid called Cory Paix, he could also play hooker. Jake Turpin just re-signed for three years, we've got Andrew McCullough there. We've got hookers a little bit covered; (James) Segeyaro is there as well.

"I think Cory Paix is another one that can play in the halves. Sean O'Sullivan's at the club. There's three there; it's just whether out of those three, there's tow we want to keep long-term."

Broncos legend and club director Darren Lockyer has spoken out on Brisbane's playmaking shortcomings, explaining how they can be fixed this season and into the future.

Short-term, Lockyer said that the Broncos needed more ball-running out of their makeshift halves pairing, Darius Boyd and Jake Turpin.

Boyd was credited with a single running metre in his side's 18-14 win over the Cowboys, while Turpin ran just 41 metres; though he scored the match-winning try.

"It was a pretty average game and I think both coaches would be disappointed by their team's performance," Lockyer said on the Sunday Footy Show, noting that as in a loss to Melbourne the previous week, the Broncos had few points to show for a decent start.

"Therein lies the problem with the Broncos at the moment. They've got a great forward pack, they get great momentum, they just can't capitalise on it.

"That comes down to probably the six and the seven. My view is that those two guys need to run the football more."

Champion five-eighth Brad Fittler added: "When someone does go forward, they're standing back.

"They're 10 metres behind them. They should be (closer); especially Jake Turpin, you'd think that'd be in his nature, being a hooker; to be on the ball. He's standing back, he must be thinking about what his next job is."

Brisbane great Sam Thaiday said that Anthony Milford should be a far bigger threat running the football, having switched from five-eighth to fullback. Even with kick returns factored in, he ran just 77 metres against the Cowboys.

"That's what I'd love to see Anthony Milford do," Thaiday said.

"Now he's playing fullback, I'd love him just to hang around the middle, hang around those big guys, hang around Tevita Pangai Jr, you've got big (Matt) Lodge there as well, Payne Haas, Tommy Flegler. They've all got an offload in them; and a late offload.

"If he isn't fit enough (for a fullback's running workload), he can just back those forwards up and he doesn't necessarily have to run it every time. He can just dish and pass. Sometimes that's some of the best play, is to catch the ball, spread it wide and try to catch a defender out of position out wide."

Lockyer said that he wanted to see Milford running the football rather than sticking with his old playmaking instincts.

"I think he's still adapting to fullback. He's still out there setting backline moves and getting the ball and passing, as opposed to thinking more about, 'I'm going to receive offloads and I'm going to be a runner'," Lockyer said.

"Sometimes you can fall into the trap of what you do at training all week; you go into a game and you just keep throwing the footy, throwing the footy, set play, set play.

"I think the Broncos, if they're going to be a chance of playing finals and doing anything in the finals, they need to play a lot more ad lib."

NRL Highlights: Cowboys v Broncos - Round 21

Lockyer said that he was pleased with Brisbane's nucleus in the forwards, which is starting to show its world-beating potential. He said that Queensland Origin forward David Fifita, off-contract in 2020 and being targeted by Parramatta, was a major retention priority.

Fittler questioned whether Brisbane was investing too much of its salary cap in forwards rather than playmakers, but Lockyer said that the Broncos intended to develop a pairing from their juniors. Five-game rookie halfback Tom Dearden is pencilled in as a long-term NRL player, alongside uncapped teen Cory Paix or four-gamer Sean O'Sullivan (20).

"We want to retain all those forward and whatever money we've got left in the cap will probably go to those kids coming through that we see as long-termers," Lockyer said.

"It's then the decision about organically growing our halves. Tommy Dearden, who's got some first-grade this year; he'll be back soon (from injury). He's going to play Q Cup next week, we think, and then after that just see how he pulls up.

"There's a young kid called Cory Paix, he could also play hooker. Jake Turpin just re-signed for three years, we've got Andrew McCullough there. We've got hookers a little bit covered; (James) Segeyaro is there as well.

"I think Cory Paix is another one that can play in the halves. Sean O'Sullivan's at the club. There's three there; it's just whether out of those three, there's tow we want to keep long-term."

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