Tardy Vidot makes up lost ground
A missed training session in his first pre-season in Brisbane has spurred Daniel Vidot to become one of the most prolific metre-eaters in the NRL and reignited his desire to one day play State of Origin for Queensland.
As part of their build-up to next Monday night's clash with the ladder-leading Panthers in Penrith, the Broncos took their preparations on the road this week with sessions at Ipswich and Logan giving youngsters a school holiday treat they'll long remember.
Wednesday morning's training run at Logan Brothers Rugby League Club was somewhat familiar turf for Vidot who played his junior football for Souths Acacia Ridge and often played against school mates turning out for Brothers on the weekend.
A return to Brisbane to be closer to family was a big factor in Vidot's decision to sign with the Broncos at the end of last season but he took a significant step back before cementing his place in the team.
The 24-year-old winger was a surprise omission from the Broncos' team to contest the Auckland Nines in February, coach Anthony Griffin revealing that it was punishment for a missed session and a valuable lesson learned.
"It's just a normal thing that happens every now and again," Griffin said. "He missed a training run so we left him out of the Nines and out of that he probably clicked him into gear a bit.
"It wasn't anything planned or whatever, it's just things that happen at footy clubs."
If there was an attitude adjustment needed it had the right effect on Vidot who has not missed a game for his new club and is ranked second to South Sydney's Sam Burgess for total run metres with 2399 at an average of 160m per game.
His smallest individual output of the season was 127m against his former club, the Dragons, in Round 4 and he has twice busted through the 200m mark.
A desire to drop some weight in order to increase his speed will have to wait until the off-season but for now the 188-centimetre, 105-kilogram behemoth is focused on helping his side to a top four finish.
Despite the evenness of the competition in 2014 and ability for any team to beat any other team on their day, Vidot believes it is still vital for the Broncos to push as high into the top eight as they can from their current position of sixth.
"It is a real tight ladder. There are a few teams [at the top] but no one's kind of out [in front] to be honest," Vidot said. "There are a few dark horses but we're just going to have to concentrate on our own game and hopefully put in a few good performances.
"It's a real important time at the moment, for us to have a good run home to the finals, so a few wins would be real beneficial to us.
"To get a top four finish and get us a better position on the ladder, we've got a chance if we have a loss there in the finals. It's definitely a better way to be leading into the finals but we'll just play our game and let everything else take care of itself.
"We've got a bit of a hard run but it's up to the boys if we're up for the challenge. I think we are, we've been training really hard so it's a big challenge for us and it's now or never. We're just going to have to dig deep and get a few wins on the board."
Although he will represent Samoa at the Four Nations in October, Vidot hasn't given up hope of one day earning a call-up to the Queensland Origin team.
While at the Raiders Vidot was twice named in the QAS Emerging Origin squad in 2010 and 2011 and said watching on during the Origin period only serves to fuel his desire to represent his home state.
"Definitely. It's always been a dream since I was a little fella and hopefully one day I get the chance but obviously I have to keep playing hard here for the Broncos and put a few wins on the board," he said.
"To be honest, [the Origin period] is a bit exciting for the young guns, the young people coming through. They get a chance to prove themselves in a first grade jumper and it's a good period.
"The boys like a bit of a break with the byes but it's also good for us. We enjoy watching it. It's something that we enjoy, getting together and watching the game, which is awesome."