McGuire's Origin fate left to higher power
Broncos co-captain Corey Parker believes teammate Josh McGuire has done everything possible to earn a maiden Origin jersey when the Queensland team is named on Monday night, his fate now resting with Maroons selectors.
The indifferent form of incumbents Josh Papalii, Chris McQueen and Ben Te'o over the opening 10 weeks of the season and the ongoing calf concern affecting Sam Thaiday represents the only selection headache currently worrying the Queensland contingent.
McGuire put in another wholehearted effort against the Titans in a dour game at Suncorp Stadium eventually won 22-8 by the home side on Friday night, his 147 metres the seventh time in nine games that he has busted through the 100m mark.
With an injury concern now hanging over Justin Hodges also after he rolled his ankle late in Friday night's game, the Broncos will have Parker, Hodges, Thaiday and Matt Gillett named in the Maroons team for Game One and only time will tell whether McGuire joins them.
"He certainly didn't hurt [his chances of selection]," said parker. "He's been going great and he certainly didn't hurt his chances.
"It's out of his hands; it's up to the powers above so we'll see what happens."
The loss of Ben Hannant on game-day to a groin injury and the demotion of Martin Kennedy to the Intrust Super Cup this weekend gave young forwards such as Corey Oates, Jarrod Wallace and David Hala a taste of the load they will be asked to bear over the next two months.
With coach Anthony Griffin in the past displaying a propensity to rest his Origin stars in the days after the interstate clashes, Oates, Wallace and Hala will all be required to deliver greater contributions to keep the Broncos' finals prospects in good shape.
Oates was promoted to the starting team and came up with some powerful bursts on the right edge, Wallace ran for 77m after coming off the bench and Hala 66m and coach Anthony Griffin believes their additional game-time will hold them in good stead next Monday night against the Wests Tigers.
"[Losing Ben Hannant] didn't help but it was a good opportunity to give Oates a start and more time to Wallace and Hala and those guys and they all did their job.
"It was just nice for them to contribute and win. As I say, I've got an enormous amount of respect for the opposition, they're always a tough team to play, but for those younger guys... Oates has been sort of building and Wallace and Hala to be on their home ground and to contribute to a win it will be good for them.
"It was ugly, but in the end it's a win that we needed. The opposition were very brave obviously but the second half we did what we needed to do, won that 18-0 and we'll take that and move on."
Rather than single out the younger players in the team, Parker was pleased with the contribution of the entire squad as they fought back from an 8-4 deficit to run out 14-point winners and vault back into the top eight.
"I thought everyone from 1-17 did a job and that's what we needed," Parker said. "The way we are at the moment we need every person contributing out there on the field and tonight we did that and came away with a good victory."