Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Could Thurston Be the Man for the Broncos?

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Could Thurston Be the Man for the Broncos?

Article excerpt




TWO weeks ago I was told by someone with his ear to the ground at the Broncos that Johnathan Thurston was in their sights.

The initial reaction was one of disbelief Co not doubting my informant, but empathising with the Broncos' proud philosophy of producing their own.

Matt Gillett, for instance, this year became the 25th Origin player to have come off the Broncos prolific production line in 25 years.

But that doesn't mean the Broncos have not fished for a major catch when one was deemed necessary.

Glenn Lazarus was their biggest, but Sam Backo, Peter Jackson, Dale Shearer, Gorden Tallis, Anthony Mundine, Scott Prince and Ben Ikin are among established stars recruited over the years.

Half way through this season I'd have said the Broncos did not need to splash out on someone like Thurston, but after watching the team disintegrate in recent weeks, I'm not so sure.

I'm just not convinced that Peter Wallace and Corey Norman can get the job done when push comes to shove Co certainly not in their present form, anyway.

The Broncos remind me of the NSW Origin team Co they have an outstanding group of players but not that playmaker who can pull off the big attacking play and make the difference.

Wallace is a terrific player, as tough as old boots and gives 100% every time he takes the field. But as much as I admire him, he's just not that ace in the pack when a game needs to be won.

Norman is also all quality, and is a genuine match winner.

But he lacks experience and Co at the moment Co confidence. And as handy as Ben Hunt has been as a utility, I don't believe he is the answer in the halves either.

The Broncos have a marvellous playing roster Co probably as good as any team in the premiership Co and proved earlier in the season that they are capable of big things in the NRL.

Even without the great Darren Lockyer they were churning through the season, getting home in tight contests and winning the praise of some astute judges. …

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