How Smith will inspire Croft to conquer Keary
Broncos halfback Brodie Croft has backed himself to match tactical wits with Roosters rival Luke Keary and revealed how the advice of Cameron Smith has steeled him for the Brisbane co-captaincy.
Croft scored the greatest solo try of his career against the Eels last week, but his 45-metre special was overshadowed by Parramatta's class as halfback Mitchell Moses engineered a 34-6 rout at Suncorp Stadium
Now, just seven days later, Croft is preparing for another daunting scrumbase duel with Keary, the 2018 Clive Churchill Medallist who has helped steer the Roosters to back-to-back premierships.
An off-season recruit from Melbourne, Croft plays his fourth game for the Broncos tonight and after a promising start to his career at Red Hill, the 22-year-old is relishing a showdown with Keary.
"Last week it was Mitchell Moses, this week it's Keary," Croft said.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership, returning Thursday 28th May. Watch every game Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
"They are the players I like to watch and learn things from because they have been doing it for years and they are the attacking weapons for their teams.
"We have to be on our A-game to stop a guy like Luke, he's a quality player, but I'm up for the challenge, that's for sure."
Once rated the next Cooper Cronk at Melbourne, Croft has made an instant impact at the Broncos.
Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold was so impressed with Croft's communication and work ethic, he was recently added to Brisbane's seven-man leadership group.
When skipper Alex Glenn was a late scratching for Round 1, Croft was stunned to be handed the co-captaincy with Pat Carrigan for the Cowboys clash without having played a single game for the club.
The Croft-Carrigan captaincy alliance won their first two games against the Cowboys and Souths and, with Glenn again sidelined by a deep gash to his calf, the pair will lead the Broncos out against the Roosters.
Croft is undaunted by the added responsibility, paying tribute to Storm champions Smith and Cronk for their influence on him as a skipper.
"Cam was one of the best leaders in the game and I've learnt so much from him and Cooper Cronk and the way they talk," he said.
"They speak so well to the team and are so strong in their words. Especially a guy like Cam Smith, anytime you sit in the dressing room and you have him in there, you know you are a chance of winning the match.
"You try and pick up stuff from him and bring it to your game.
"Me and Pat are at the start of our careers with captaincy and we have a lot of growing to do as players and leaders. We are looking forward to the challenge and we are loving every minute of it."
Originally published as How Smith will inspire Croft to conquer Keary