Bennett, Broncos to decide on Shark plan
WAYNE Bennett is unlikely to tinker with his bench and risk losing the impact provided by game-changers Sam Thaiday and Kodi Nikorima against a menacing Cronulla Sharks tomorrow.
Bennett has to find replacements for hooker Andrew McCullough (torn hamstring) and suspended prop Adam Blair against the in-form Sharks, who will be looking to make a statement against the top-placed Broncos at home with a full complement on deck.
Thaiday and Nikorima could fill the starting positions but both players have been very good starting off the bench and the impact they have when brought into the game has been a key to Brisbane's strong start to the season.
Bennett will make the call after the team's final training run at Red Hill this morning but the late mail is Bennett will re-ignite the NRL career of former All Stars hooker Travis Waddell and start big Jarrod Wallace in the front-row alongside Josh McGuire, on a huge high after being selected to make his debut for Australia next week.
Waddell is a tough rooster, capable of soaking up the early exchanges with Cronulla's aggressive pack and the likely niggle from Sharks hooker Michael Ennis.
Nikorima, who was named in the No.9 jumper earlier in the week, is a real weapon late in the halves when the big forwards are tiring and that may influence Bennett's thinking.
"Wayne hasn't told us yet (who is starting)," said Nikorima, who made his debut against the Sharks this time last year.
"It doesn't bother me, I don't mind coming off the bench.
"I got to represent my country at the back end of last year and I'm just enjoying playing for Brisbane."