Darius Boyd, Justin Hodges and Darren Lockyer make the Broncos team of the decade.
Darius Boyd, Justin Hodges and Darren Lockyer make the Broncos team of the decade.

Broncos team of the decade: Star cast falls short

It was a decade boasting plenty of finals action but little real success for the Broncos, and that's laid bare by their team of the decade.

A solid team, but hardly brilliant, the limited choices in the play-making areas particularly highlights where the club fell short.

Andrew McCullough takes the No.9 jersey as a stalwart of the club more so than for any sort of spectacular footy, Peter Wallace falls into the No.7 for his strength in the kicking game, and Darren Lockyer takes No.6 despite only playing 40 matches in the decade because - well, who else could?

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Then there's the talent gone begging. Israel Folau code-swapping at the height of his powers, Jharal Yow Yeh's horrific broken leg, Darius Boyd following Wayne Bennett down south - they make the team, but things could have been so much better.

But the silver lining for Broncos fans? No.16 and No.17: David Fifita and Payne Haas. Characters introduced in the final chapters of a disappointing decade who will charge Brisbane into the roaring '20s full steam.

 

Darius Boyd has had plenty of success at Brisbane. Picture: Brett Costello
Darius Boyd has had plenty of success at Brisbane. Picture: Brett Costello

 

1. Darius Boyd

His legacy has been devalued somewhat by a sub-par 2019 season but there is no doubting Boyd's contribution in his 113 games since returning to the club in 2015 after stints with the Dragons and Knights. At his best a dynamic link-man and strong defender, he manfully accepted the responsibilities of captaincy during troubled times.

2. Corey Oates

A big, hard-running finisher regularly linked with a move to the forwards that is yet to eventuate. Oates's speed, swerve and bulk-defying athleticism have seen him score some spectacular tries diving inside the corner post. His strike rate of 99 tries in 144 games since debuting in 2013 puts him in company with any of the Broncos' greatest all-time wingers.

 

Justin Hodges will go down as one of the best NRL centres of the decade. Picture: Darren England.
Justin Hodges will go down as one of the best NRL centres of the decade. Picture: Darren England.

 

3. Justin Hodges

Missed out on an ideal finish to his NRL career when he co-captained the Broncos in their 2015 golden-point grand final loss to the Cowboys. Even so, the popular "Hodgo" will always be remembered as one of the club's best. Playing mainly at centre but filling in at fullback when needed, his point of difference was a second-to-none ability to make ground from dummy-half.

4. Israel Folau

Folau played just the first season of the decade for the Broncos before leaving to join AFL newcomers GWS at the end of 2010 - but what a season it was. In 20 games - 19 in the centres and one on the wing - he scored 20 tries, giving him the nod ahead of long-serving but far less explosive 128-gamer Jack Reed.

 

Jharal Yow Yeh’s career was cruelly cut shot.
Jharal Yow Yeh’s career was cruelly cut shot.

 

5. Jharal Yow-Yeh

One of the saddest stories in the history of the Broncos played out on live television from Perth when the career of dynamic winger Jharal Yow-Yeh was ended by a horrific leg fracture in a 2012 round four match against the Rabbitohs. Just 22 years old and already an Origin and Test star (he was voted 2011 International Rookie of the Year), Yow-Yeh scored 24 tries in 46 games for the Broncos between 2010 and his devastating injury.

6. Darren Lockyer

Lockyer played only 40 games between the start of the 2010 season and his retirement at the end of 2011 but such was his influence on the club and the players around him that to name anyone else at number six in a Broncos team of the decade would cause a riot. An inspirational captain with the knack of pulling off the crucial matchwinning play, he gave unmatched service to the Broncos in a record 355-games for the club.

 

Darren Lockyer and Peter Wallace forged a strong scrumhalf combination.
Darren Lockyer and Peter Wallace forged a strong scrumhalf combination.

 

7. Peter Wallace

In terms of games played at halfback during the decade Ben Hunt with 185 tops the list but whether unfairly or not many Broncos supporters can never forgive him for the extra-time knock-on that handed the 2015 grand final to the Cowboys. That faux-pas aside Peter Wallace, who represented the club 95 times between 2010 and 2013, earns the number seven jersey in this side due to his superior last-tackle kicking game and field-goal expertise.

8. Sam Thaiday

Like Alfie Langer and Gorden Tallis, Sam Thaiday had the ability to keep things light-hearted off the field but would flick a switch and be all business once he crossed the white line. A natural athlete with good hands and great anticipation, he was mobile, football-savvy and, when required, aggressive.

9. Andrew McCullough

While injuries and the emergence of Jake Turpin put McCullough under pressure in 2019, he was a stalwart of the club throughout the decade, playing 229 games - the second most of any Bronco - and twice winning the coveted Paul Morgan Medal as player of the year. A noted defender and non-stop worker, his consistent club form was rewarded with Origin selection in 2018.

 

Petero Civoniceva is a club great. Picture: David Kapernick
Petero Civoniceva is a club great. Picture: David Kapernick

 

10. Petero Civoniceva

Like Darren Lockyer, Civoniceva was at the end of his career during the qualifying period and in fact played only 20 games for the Broncos in the 2012 season following a stint at Penrith before hanging up his boots. Even so, just like Lockyer his sterling service to the club in 235 games over 11 seasons makes him impossible to leave out.

11. Alex Glenn

The Broncos' Mr Consistency, Glenn played 233 games during the decade - the most in the club - and never gave less than 100 per cent. An effective wide running forward with excellent defence, he also filled in at centre when required. Didn't get the media attention of some of his teammates but was never underestimated by those who played alongside or against him.

12. Matt Gillett

A super-fit, mobile backrower who at his peak was considered one of the best right-side defenders in the game, Gillett was a non-stop worker who never left anything in the tank. Played 200 games for the club from 2010 before a chronic shoulder injury ended his career after a frustrating 2019 season.

 

Corey Parker was a rare breed of goalkicking forward. Picture: Peter Wallis
Corey Parker was a rare breed of goalkicking forward. Picture: Peter Wallis

 

13. Corey Parker

Along with Allan Langer and Petro Civoneceva one of only three players to win three Paul Morgan Awards as Broncos player of the year. A strong defender with the ability to offload in traffic, Parker's accurate goalkicking - he kicked 355 goals in 154 games between 2010 and his retirement after the 2016 season - enhanced his great contribution to the club.

14. Anthony Milford

Able to play fullback, five-eighth, halfback or even hooker, Milford's brilliant 2015 season in which he spearheaded the Broncos' run to the grand final earns him the utility spot on the bench ahead of Ben Hunt.

 

Anthony Milford edges Ben Hunt for the utility role. Picture: Mark Evans
Anthony Milford edges Ben Hunt for the utility role. Picture: Mark Evans

 

15. Josh McGuire

Equally effective in the front or back row, McGuire provided the Broncos with solid defence, hard straight running and the intimidation factor through niggling tactics that sometimes stretched the line between gamesmanship and illegality.

16. Payne Haas

Although playing just one full season of the decade, giant youngster Payne Haas showed such presence in his 24 matches for the club that there is little doubt that if he reaches his enormous potential he will become one of the biggest names in the game.

17. David Fifita

Like Haas still a youngster but brimming with talent. Big, strong, aggressive and possessing sublime skills, Fifita is the prototype forward of the future.

News Corp Australia


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