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Tesi Niu hamstring harm opens door for Cobbo


Tesi Niu will spend up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Picture: NRL Images
Tesi Niu will spend as much as six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring harm. Picture: NRL Images

Broncos coach Kevin Walters has backed rookie Selwyn Cobbo to reply a fullback SOS after first-choice custodian Tesi Niu tore his hamstring in Friday night time’s 40-12 loss to Penrith.

Walters confirmed Niu is dealing with as much as six weeks on the sidelines on his second hamstring setback, opening the door for rising winger Cobbo to make his Broncos fullback debut on this Friday’s conflict in opposition to the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium.

Pressure is constructing on the Broncos, who crashed into the highest 4 following their capitulation in opposition to the Panthers and should eliminate lowly Canterbury to avert a five-game shedding streak.

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To compound Brisbane’s winless previous month, Walters should reconstruct his playmaking backbone and discover a new fullback as Niu involves phrases with the prospect of being sidelined till spherical 12.

Cobbo shapes as a viable substitute. While he has performed simply 13 NRL video games, the 19-year-old slotted into fullback in opposition to the Panthers and has impressed within the opening six weeks along with his uncooked expertise, 100kg body and fearless working model.

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Tesi Niu will spend up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury. Picture: NRL Images
Tesi Niu will spend as much as six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring harm. Picture: NRL Images

In pre-season, Walters was reluctant to reveal Cobbo to the pressures of fullback play so early in his profession, however Niu’s breakdown will see the Cherbourg younger gun handed the Broncos’ No. 1 jumper for the Bulldogs showdown.

“Selwyn is going to have to be ready to play fullback,” Walters mentioned because the Broncos head into spherical 7 with a shaky 2-4 document.

“The other option we had was David Mead and he is injured, so this is Selwyn’s time to shine.

“Tesi isn’t too good, he will have scans tomorrow but the initial prognosis is probably four to six weeks. He did a good job of (tearing) it.”

The Panthers tried to mentally break Cobbo with a collection of excessive kicks, however the rangy teenager was as much as the duty, giving Walters confidence he’ll deal with a Bulldogs baptism.

“Selwyn will be up for it, I have confidence in him and what he brings to the side,” Walters mentioned.

“Penrith pressured him with the high ball but he came up trumps.

“Nathan Cleary had all sorts of high kicks, but Selwyn and our back three did well to cope with those kicks.

Selwyn Cobbo will get first crack at playing fullback for the Broncos. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images
Selwyn Cobbo will get first crack at playing fullback for the Broncos. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

“Selwyn backs himself and he has some wonderful traits. He is a very instinctive player, the ball seems to find him so he will be good at the back for us.”

Last month, Cobbo instructed News Corp he wouldn’t be daunted by a extra demanding position at fullback.

“I like centre and wing, but I can also play fullback,” he mentioned.

“If I play either of those positions down the track, I will be happy.

“I love watching Tom ‘Turbo’ (Trbojevic) as a fullback … he is just a freak the way he moves.”

While the lack of Niu is a blow, the Broncos can be boosted by the return of suspended props Payne Haas and Tom Flegler, who will add some grunt, workrate and presence to Brisbane’s pack.

“It will be great to have our big names back,” Walters mentioned. “I thought Keenan (Palasia) and Corey Jensen were great against the Panthers but it’s nice to know Payne and Tom are back on deck.”

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