Broncos veterans have backed debutant 21-year-old forward Pat Carrigan to fire against the Wests Tigers while warning that youth is no excuse for the pack not to perform to required standards.
Carrigan has been named on the bench for the Telstra Premiership clash at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night alongside 19-year-old Thomas Flegler and 21-year-old Jaydn Su’A.
The Broncos have named prop Payne Haas as 18th man although both Alex Glenn and Matt Gillett are looking forward to lining up with the boom 20-year-old on Thursday night after he completed a club-imposed four-match suspension for failing to co-operate with the NRL Integrity Unit in the pre-season.
Seibold said after the dismal 36-4 loss to the Roosters that Haas would be straight back in the 17 but has listed Gehamat Shibasaki on his four-man bench. The Brisbane coach is yet to decide whether to name four forwards on his bench or stick with his usual plan of having an outside back on the bench as a contingency.
Carrigan is studying physiotherapy and is a former school captain of rugby union school, St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace.
He told NRL.com two years ago that he was “a leaguie playing rugby” while at school and Glenn said he had faith that Carrigan would not let Brisbane down against the Wests Tigers after “doing all the little things” right at training and with Wynnum-Manly in the Intrust Super Cup
Patty has been going back to Wynnum and he’s been playing tremendous there," Glenn said.
“One thing about Patty is he doesn’t like to let the team down. I have full confidence in Patty and how he is going to play this weekend. He’s just got to focus on his job.”
Gillett said Carrigan was “a workhorse” who had earned his jersey but was emphatic when asked if a seventh premiership win was beyond the Broncos for several years and whether the club needed to adjust expectations because of the youth of the side.
“Not at all. We do have a young side but … it is always our goal to be top four and definitely a premiership is close by,” he said.
“We have a squad here, from the coach down, that we are confident can do the job.”
Glenn said Gillett had “hit the nail on the head” and that whoever wore a Broncos jersey had to deliver, young or not.
“You can’t use the age factor as an excuse. We are playing in a professional competition and whoever is lacing up in the 17 has to go out and do their job,” Glenn said. Unfortunately we did it the tough way last week. We weren’t completing our sets and made it hard for ourselves.
"It is a huge challenge [against the Wests Tigers] after what we tossed up last week and we want to bounce back and prove to ourselves and our fans that we have got a lot more in us.
"I think the most disappointing part was that what we produced [against the Roosters] wasn’t who we are as a team. We are coming up against Russell Packer and Ben Matulino who have been in the game a long time. It is a big challenge for these young boys.