NRL Rd 3 - Broncos v Bulldogs
NRL Rd 3 - Broncos v Bulldogs

Why Broncos may finally be ready to usher in new era

Tom Dearden is on the verge of a comeback to the Broncos starting side with Brodie Croft in grave danger of missing the chance to shine against the club that axed him.

Dearden's lively seven-minute stint against the Bulldogs when he scored a try as the game was breaking open has enhanced his chances of unseating Croft at the scrumbase for the Broncos match against the Storm in Melbourne on Friday.

"I was really happy with Tom's input,'' Broncos coach Kevin Walters said.

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"It was only seven minutes but he was in everything and doing what good halfbacks do, good passing, had a couple of kicks and good support play through the middle of the field.

"At this stage I won't make any judgments on selections of the team.

"Tommy needs to play some footy as well. I was trying to get him on there before halftime but because of the scoreline I didn't want to put too much pressure on him as a young playmaker.

"It was good to have him part of the side and I was happy he picked up a try at the death.''

Despite the emphatic nature of a 24-0 scoreline, Croft, criticised by commentators for pushing passes, and Anthony Milford never fully clicked to leave the contentious halves issue a matter of ongoing debate.

Walters, however, was satisfied with Milford and Croft's efforts after halftime as Croft waits to see whether he will get a chance to play the Storm, who cut him adrift after the 2019 season.

"They got us over the line so that was good," Walters said.

"I was particularly pleased with our second 40. I thought Milf and Crofty were a lot more dominant in different areas, but Tommy is just waiting there.

"It was good to give him the opportunity as well late in the game to come on. He scored a good try and was in everything.

"I'm pleased with that second half but also giving Tommy the extra bit of experience he will need to get to go where he wants to go at this club.''

An incentive for Walters to give Dearden a start is the fact that he is coming out of contract and being heavily courted by the Cowboys so every first grade outing at the Broncos is a sweetener for Brisbane's push to retain him.

Originally published as Why Broncos may finally be ready to usher in new era


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