They boast eight State of Origin stars, including Queensland and Australian captain Darren Lockyer, but Brisbane coach Ivan Henjak believes burgeoning young prop Dave Taylor can provide his side’s X-factor heading into the finals series.<br><br>Taylor was at his rampant best in last night’s 22-10 win over Canberra, running for 128 metres including two line breaks that both times saw him come within inches of crossing the try line.<br><br>The 115-kilogram giant has struggled for consistency throughout his brief NRL career but his imposing figure has certainly loomed large during the Broncos’ five-match winning streak that has propelled them from the brink of disaster to an 18th consecutive finals appearance.<br><br>“He has certainly got some game-breaking ability,” Henjak said. “It’s something that he can do.<br><br>“What we want to see is him mixing his game up and making sure it’s well-balanced.<br><br>“He is doing plenty of work at the moment as well some of that strike stuff. He is a work in progress but that’s a good thing too.”<br><br>Certainly Taylor – who is South Sydney-bound in 2010 – has played a key role in Brisbane’s resurrection this season despite having only earned his first grade recall mid-season.<br><br>The hulking prop was dumped to the Queensland Cup earlier in the year after a slow start to the season before being recalled for their Round 16 loss to Parramatta.<br><br>“It always takes time,” Henjak said. “He is still young and we never expected him to be at his best right away.<br><br>“He has a lot of improvement in him and he is a front-rower so he has a long way to go before he gets to his best.”<br><br>Asked about his impending departure, Henjak said: “I guess that’s just the nature of the business.<br><br>“You can’t keep everyone and when those decisions were made he was still trying to get his game together.”<br><br>Like Taylor, Brisbane completed their own turnaround last night with their impressive win over Canberra coming just five weeks after the Raiders piled a record 56 unanswered points on them in the nation’s capital.<br><br>Incredibly, the Broncos haven’t lost since and can now look forward to a huge local derby against the Gold Coast on Saturday night.<br><br>“I think getting beaten the way we did the last time we played Canberra snapped the players into some action,” Henjak said. <br><br>“It affected their personal pride. They decided that they wanted to do something in this competition and hence the turnaround. <br><br>“I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve seen… Their energy has been good and the defence as well. <br><br>“They’ve got a good attitude at the moment and they are playing for each other. <br><br>“There are parts of our game we can still work on, but that’s fixable.”<br><br>Henjak said it was important that his players realise the job isn’t done yet, insisting that the Broncos could well be eliminated next weekend if they fail to topple the Titans.<br><br>A win by either Newcastle over the Bulldogs or Parramatta over the Dragons could spell disaster for Brisbane, with the two lowest-placed losers heading for Mad Monday celebrations this time next week.<br><br>“I think anyone can beat anyone on the day,” he said. “I wouldn’t take too much from any previous performance. <br><br>“The Dragons had a big turnaround from their loss to South Sydney… we had a big turnaround from our loss to the Raiders… Manly put the Titans to the sword – you just can’t read anything into the week before.<br>“You don’t know how any club is going to respond to the previous week and the pressure of finals football can change things too.<br><br>“So we need to remember that those five wins we’ve had aren’t going to help us now.<br><br>“We’re in the finals and it’s a new competition. <br><br>“We need to replicate the energy and the defence we’ve been showing, then step it up again.”
You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.