Fifita blow adds injury to insult for beaten Broncos
Brisbane interim coach Peter Gentle says injured forward David Fifita is racing the clock to join retiring teammate Darius Boyd for their Broncos farewells in next Thursday night's derby against the Cowboys.
Fifita appears in grave doubt for the final-round clash at Suncorp Stadium and will have scans today to determine the severity of the left-ankle injury he suffered in the 26-12 loss to the Eels at Bankwest Stadium.
Fifita will join Queensland rivals the Titans on a $3.5 million deal from next season and the North Queensland showdown shaped as his 45th and final game in Broncos colours.
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But the sight of Fifita watching the final 15 minutes of the Eels clash on crutches suggests the 20-year-old wrecking ball is at long odds to face the Cowboys in Brisbane's humiliating wooden-spoon battle.
Brisbane stalwart Boyd will say goodbye to Broncos fans and rugby league with his 337th top-grade game this week and Gentle is sweating on the prospect of Fifita having one last dance.
"Dave will go for scans," Gentle said.
"He tried to come back out (after leaving the field in the 42nd minute), he was doing some hopping and it wasn't right, so we will wait and see what the scans show.
"There will be plenty of media around Darius' last game next week, the boys have known for a while where Darius' finish line was.
"We're hoping to send Dave off as well but that's in the balance now."
There is no doubt Brisbane have improved since Gentle took over from fallen head coach Anthony Seibold a month ago.
Gentle has simplified Brisbane's game plan and the result is a Broncos team that is running harder in attack and playing with more energy, commitment and line speed in defence.
Trailing 20-6 at half-time, Brisbane had hope when Herbie Farnworth crossed in the 45th minute to whittle the deficit to 20-12, but when Jai Field swooped on a stray Issac Luke pass five minutes later, the Eels were safe.
"I was pleased with that. You can see the boys are trying," Gentle said.
"They showed a lot of effort and they are playing for each other and the fans. We didn't get the result and there are areas where we can be better, but there is a lot to be proud of as well."
After five months of pain, the nightmare isn't over yet for Brisbane. They must win their final-round clash against the Cowboys or confront the embarrassment of claiming the first wooden-spoon in the Broncos' decorated history..
"We need to win for a number of reasons," Gentle said.
"It's Darius' last game and we could get the biggest crowd of the round so we would like to fill Suncorp as much as we can.
"It's our last game of the season so we owe it to everyone to have a good performance back at home next week."
Originally published as Fifita blow adds injury to insult for beaten Broncos