By Wayne Heming
Former try-scoring wizard Steve "The Pearl" Renouf has no doubts exciting youngster Israel Folau can smash his try-scoring feats for the Brisbane Broncos.
Folau, 20, equalled Renouf's record of four tries in a game in Brisbane's 32-18 win over the Gold Coast on Friday night in just his 10th appearance for the six-time NRL premiers.
The ease in which he scored his tries suggested he could score a bigger haul but his modesty prevented him from talking up his amazing effort after the win.
Renouf - a try scoring genius in the 1990s and regarded as one of the game's best finishers - holds Brisbane's record for the most tries in a single season, crossing 23 times in 21 games in 1994.
He also holds the club's all-time record of 142 tries in 183 games.
"It would be great for the club if he did," Renouf told AAP when asked about Folau's chance of smashing his try-scoring records.
"He's definitely got the potential to do it if he has the players around him to help.
"Obviously (Darren) Lockyer is not going to be around much longer but they've got Peter Wallace.
"I put most of my tries down to the wonderful players I had inside me which is very, very important.
"I hope he does, I really do.
"He's got all the potential in the world and let's hope he does do it because it would mean the Broncos were going well."
Renouf, who scored his tries with breathtaking acceleration and a magical sidestep, agreed Folau was more a Mal Meninga type player who intimidated opponents with his sheer size and high skill level.
"I can say that from the experience of playing against Mal (Meninga), who was very intimidating," said Renouf.
"I'd hate to be lining up against this big fella."
Folau's dominating performance was witnessed by 43,000 fans and even had captain Darren Lockyer in awe.
"He's made a difference for us," said Lockyer.
"He's a finisher.
"Give him the ball five metres out with three defenders in front of him, or no defenders, or the ball rolling on the ground, and nine-and-a-half times out of 10 he's going to score.
Coach Ivan Henjak admitted he'd happily given Folau a licence to roam in the backs.
"He just goes wherever he wants," said Henjak.
"I don't want to coach it. Let him go."
Folau's tryscoring feats also have bookmakers running scared, with an estimated $250,000 paid out this year for bets on him as a first tryscorer.
He has scored first in five matches this year, including last week's Test match.
He was backed in from $7 to $5.50 to score the first try in Friday night's match.