Former Broncos premiership winner Brent Tate has called for Brisbane to overhaul their spine after criticizing the club’s production line of young guns that have failed to live up to the hype.
Speaking on Fox League’s Podcast, Tate believes there are issues surrounding the Broncos’ recruitment and retention that could see them struggle to make the finals for the foreseeable future.
“I think there is bigger issues at the Broncos,” Tate said on The Fox League podcast.
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“I picked it up in the trial match against the Cowboys in Mackay in their final hitout before the season started.
“The Cowboys towelled them up and towelled them up really well.
“I saw some things in the Broncos’ game that I had some real red flags about and I think it has carried into the season.
“I know they won their first two, but I would be really surprised if they aren’t 2-8 after 10 rounds. I just think they are in huge trouble.”
Tate took issue with the Broncos’ decision that they were happy with the squad they have assembled and that they were not looking to go to the transfer market.
Tate believes there are three key spine positions at least that the Broncos need reinforcements in to compete with the best teams in the competition.
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“I heard during the week they spoke about that they were not going to go to market, which I find is a funny one,” Tate said.
“I don’t think they have an established No.9. I don’t think Tesi Niu is a fullback at all.
“They let Jamayne Isaako go to the Titans.
“I’m just not real sure on the plan at the Broncos at the moment and where they are going.
“I can’t see them winning a game in the next few weeks. I know they have got the Bulldogs which is probably a game they could win, but there is certainly a real test coming up for the Broncos the next few weeks.”
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The Broncos have long reminded the rest of the league about their impressive production line of juniors, but Tate has been less than impressed with most of the Brisbane players were sure would take the competition by storm.
“One of the things I always hear out of Brisbane is how good their juniors are coming through and how much investment they have always made in them,” Tate said.
“But I really must admit I don’t think I have seen those juniors really come through and be really dominant players in the NRL.
“I think we have heard it for the last few years that they have great players coming through, but I’m just not seeing it at the moment.”
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Tate admitted that Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan are two players that have made the step up to first grade, but he questioned the logic in letting rookie half Tom Dearden join the Cowboys to re-sign an aging Albert Kelly.
“I know Pat Carrigan has come back and played really well and obviously Payne Haas has come through the system,” Tate explained.
“But they let go a player like Tom Dearden and they buy Albert Kelly at the back end of his career.
“There has got to be some questions asked around some of the recruitment decisions like that for sure.
“They have said they are not going to market next year so that means they are happy with the roster they have got.
“If they are 2-8 after 10 rounds and they finish the bottom of the ladder again next year and they have said they are not going to market, there is some red flags there I’m thinking.”
“Another two you can add to that list is Sam Walker they let go down to the Roosters and Reece Walsh to the Warriors,” Fox League Editor Eamonn Tiernan put to Tate.
“They could use another half and a fullback at the moment.
“So you say they need to go to market. What positions would you be looking at?”
“I think they need a No.9 or someone else in the halves to help Adam Reynolds,” Tate replied.
“I think Reynolds needs someone to play with.
“I genuinely think they need a fullback. Selwyn Cobbo I have a huge wrap on but he is still a couple of years away from being a genuine fullback for them week in and week out.
“They are two positions I think they really need to look at hooker and fullback or someone in the halves to help Adam Reynolds.
“That’s where I would be targeting.”