Stagg backs young Broncos over Origin
David Stagg is backing the Broncos' younger brigade to get the job done in the absence of Brisbane's Origin stars as the club looks ahead to Saturday night's clash against the Tigers in Campbelltown.
The Broncos will lose 798 games of first grade experience if you add the injured Sam Thaiday into the mix along with Corey Parker, Justin Hodges and Matt Gillett who joined the Maroons camp on Monday.
With an injury cloud still hanging over 178-game veteran Ben Hannant, the experience of Stagg will be crucial in mentoring Brisbane's young pack of forwards as they look to tame the Tigers.
Into the second season of a two-year deal signed prior to the 2013 campaign, the 30-year-old has had a staggered start to the 2014 season after suffering medial ligament damage in the Auckland Nines, which kept him out of action for six weeks.
He made his injury comeback for Wynnum Manly in the Intrust Super Cup last month and laced the boots up for his first NRL game of the season after the late withdrawal of Ben Hannant prior to the Titans clash last Friday.
"Personally it's been a little bit frustrating to start the year with a few niggling injuries, but it's been nice in past few weeks to get a bit of football," Stagg said.
"Obviously [it was] due to circumstances with Benny having a late withdrawal that I got a chance to have a run last week."
With the Broncos notorious strugglers during the Origin period, Stagg is backing a youthful Broncos side get the job done at Campbelltown Stadium, the same venue that the famous 'baby Broncos' side snatched an unlikely 28-14 victory over the Tigers in Round 12, 2002. The only current Bronco remaining from that side is Corey Parker.
"At this time of year you look at the strength and the depth of the club and with the guys we've got around there's still plenty of experience which is good to see," he said.
"Over the past few years when I've been with Brisbane you can quite often lose half the team. Obviously we still lose a fair bit of experience but there's plenty to come in as well.
"Even though we have lost those guys we still need to put in a performance as a 17 this week and hopefully get the job done. It'll be business as usual."
Brisbane enter the Origin period on the back of five wins and five losses, sitting in 11th place on the ladder. With a win on Saturday and other results going their way, the Broncos could find themselves back inside the top four.
The major problem for Brisbane this season has been their ability to perform for the full 80 minutes, which is a challenge that Stagg is relishing to rectify this weekend.
"We've certainly been playing well enough," he said.
"We've spoken about it and there have been lapses throughout an 80-minute performance.
"It's not rocket science to know that to win you need to really play for the 80 minutes."