Tevita Pangai Jr has come in for criticism. Pic Peter Wallis
Tevita Pangai Jr has come in for criticism. Pic Peter Wallis

Bennett puts a rocket up rising forward

BRONCOS coach Wayne Bennett has put a rocket up Tevita Pangai Jr, telling the front-row firebrand to pull his head in over arrogant on-field antics.

Bennett held a meeting with Pangai Jr Wednesday morning at Red Hill where the Broncos super coach told his boom forward to stop "yahooing" and belittling opposition players in the heat of battle.

Melbourne players were seething last Sunday, privately labelling Pangai Jr a "big head" for constantly cheering and celebrating on the field when Storm opponents made errors in Brisbane's 32-16 loss at AAMI Park.

Melbourne pivot Cameron Munster also took umbrage at Pangai Jr after he was placed on report for lashing out at Storm enforcer Nelson Asofa-Solomona with a stray elbow.

Former Manly winger John Hopoate was notorious for patting rivals on the head after making a mistake and Bennett has warned Pangai Jr there is no place for egomaniacs at the Broncos.

"There's some 'yahooing' I need to get out of my game," a candid Pangai Jr said.

"I handled it (his meeting with Bennett) well.

Pangai Junior has admitted he needs to mature.
Pangai Junior has admitted he needs to mature.

"We had a talk about humility and I don't need that stuff in my game - you don't see the greats of the game carrying on like that.

"You don't see Darius (Boyd, Broncos captain) or Sam Thaiday carrying on after they did a good thing in the game.

"It's borderline. I want to play within the rules, I still want to play with aggression and play hard, but Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys wrecking ball) is a perfect example of someone who plays hard but doesn't have that (bighead) tag on him.

"I need to get that out of my game."

Pangai Jr will come off the bench again this Saturday night against the Sharks and the Tongan international said there are several reasons why he isn't in the starting side.

Pangai Junior was in the thick of things against Melbourne.
Pangai Junior was in the thick of things against Melbourne.

"The public think I'm playing good but Wayne knows there are areas that I need to fix," he said.

"There's a bit of contact stuff with my defence and the little things you don't see on TV that I need to fix.

"That's what I'm working on.

"It's my third year and I want to start but I will do what Wayne wants me to do. If that's to come off the bench and create an impact, I will do that."

Bennett was furious with Brisbane's second-half capitulation against the Storm and Broncos winger Corey Oates admits the side cannot afford to switch off against 2016 premiers Cronulla.

Bennett has condemned the Broncos effort against Melbourne. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Bennett has condemned the Broncos effort against Melbourne. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

"We were very disappointed in ourselves, I can't explain what happened," he said.

"I don't know what it is, we seem to struggle in the second halves.

"If we are ahead, we die down a bit with our energy and attack and for some reason, it flips on us. It's just a mindset thing.

"We need to start putting pressure on teams and we have to do it this weekend. We need to start competing for 80 minutes."



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