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24 Sep 2017 8:53
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Funny man Thaiday serious about NRL tilt

    Brisbane funny man Sam Thaiday is deadly serious about ending the Broncos' longest premiership drought, saying time is running out for the glamour club.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    Even on his darkest day at Brisbane, Sam Thaiday could still see the lighter side of things.

    Dumped as Broncos skipper in 2014, Thaiday copped it on the chin and agreed to face the media.

    As the heavens opened around the media scrum, Thaiday couldn't stop himself seeing the humour of the awkward moment.

    "Look, the city of Brisbane is crying for me today," Thaiday said.

    It was typical of a bloke whose idea of an icebreaker at a Kangaroos camp was to walk around introducing himself only wearing budgy smugglers -- at the team's media session.

    And he is the only player in Broncos history who can lay claim to twerking beside a bemused Wayne Bennett in a dressing room.

    Again in budgies.

    Yet even Thaiday admits the good times are coming to an end at the Broncos ahead of Friday night's NRL knockout semi-final against Penrith at Suncorp Stadium.

    But he is deadly serious about leaving his beloved NRL club a happy man.

    Thaiday claims Brisbane are approaching an end of an era, saying time is running out for the glamour club to end their longest premiership drought and deliver a title to long suffering fans.

    Thaiday will retire at the end of the 2018 season after being told by Bennett his Broncos contract would not be renewed, ensuring he will walk away a one club man.

    The 32-year-old will get one final title shot with Brisbane next year -- unlike Ben Hunt, Herman Ese'ese, Tautau Moga, Jai Arrow and Benji Marshall who will leave at season's end.

    However, Thaiday hoped Brisbane's time was now.

    "We want success not just for the fans but even for the some of the players," Thaiday said.

    "I have been here 15 years, played in two grand finals and only won the one.

    "I would love to have a bit of success too and see those young blokes who have worked so hard have some success too.

    "The (premiership) window is closing. We are losing a fair few players next year.

    "But that's the beauty of rugby league.

    "There is always someone else who wants to come in and take over. Others will put their hand up."

    Thaiday's antics have helped lift morale at Brisbane after being plunged into sudden death football by last week's qualifying loss to Sydney Roosters.

    Queensland coach Kevin Walters reckons it won't matter what Thaiday can come up with in budgy smugglers to lighten the mood this week.

    But he was confident Thaiday would produce something to remember wearing the Broncos No.8 jersey to relieve the mounting pressure on Brisbane.

    Any club under seven-time premiership coach Bennett would demand success.

    But the Broncos only have their heartbreaking 2015 grand final loss to North Queensland to show since their last title 11 long years ago.

    As an ex-premiership winning Broncos skipper, Walters knows all about the crushing expectation at Brisbane to deliver a title.

    And he expected Thaiday to rise above it to keep the Broncos' title tilt on track.

    "Sam is a senior player at that club. From his point of view time is running out to win a premiership," he said.

    "But as a senior player it is up to the likes of him (to lift).

    "But the pressure on the club is not so much winning the premiership, it's about playing consistent football.

    "And Wayne is the mastermind of getting their teams up for this time of year.

    "He loves this time of year.

    "No coach has won more.

    "If anyone knows what needs to happen on Friday night it's Wayne so they are in a pretty good postion that way.

    "I'd be surprised if they don't come in with a very strong performance and if they don't to a man improve on Friday night."

    Thaiday has already provided his fair share of inspiration this season -- fully clothed.

    Despite being told he did not have a future at the club, Thaiday volunteered to start at hooker when Andrew McCullough suffered a season ending knee injury seven weeks ago.

    He again put his hand up to slot into the front row when prop Korbin Sims broke his arm three weeks ago.

    Asked what was a season pass mark, Thaiday said: "To win (the premiership).

    "We want to keep on going.

    "We would love to get to the big game at the end of the year but we have to win this one first."

    Brisbane lock Josh McGuire was more blunt.

    "It won't be a successful season unless we win, that is the way we look at it," he said.

    "It has been 11 years since we have won a grand final. Time is running out."


    NZN




    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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