Civoniceva sticks solid in Bronco support
A potential Cowboys fairytale finish and career-capping win for former Origin and Test teammate Johnathan Thurston isn't enough for Petero Civoniceva to turn his back on his former Broncos team, as he shared his tip ahead of Sunday's NRL Telstra Premiership grand final.
Speaking at the NRL's Lunch with the Legends on Tuesday, Civoniceva told NRL.com while any Queenslander is a winner no matter which way the grand final goes he hopes Brisbane can secure their seventh title under coach Wayne Bennett.
"With my past history with the Broncos I'm willing to ride them all the way home. It's going to be an amazing clash and there's so many great personal battles ahead whether it's the halves combinations and the forward packs going at each other – there is great attacking potential in both clubs," Civoniceva told NRL.com.
"It would be [great to see Thurston win]. But as a Broncos man I hope it doesn't happen on Sunday though if any player deserves a moment like that though it's JT.
"It's been amazing to watch him throughout his whole career and to play out on the field with him. He's such an amazing player.
"The key for them comes down to their forward pack because it allows Johnathan space to play, which is the biggest challenge for the Broncos defensive unit, to be able to control that."
Playing his part in the Broncos' 1998 and 2006 premiership wins under Bennett, Civoniceva added that the master coach's unwavering demeanour will suit the laissez-faire style of halves Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford.
In fact, the combination Hunt and Milford have struck up this season is the key for a Brisbane victory according to Civoniceva.
"They just need to continue what they have managed to achieve already this year together. They have been tremendous in not giving up on each other and also to the energy they play with in attack," he said.
"Their combination has been a revelation and hopefully that'll continue on Sunday. Wayne clearly has great confidence in their ability and both players have really thrived under his guidance which is great to see.
"Nobody would have foreseen the success come so quickly for both players. But the level of maturity they have shown is a big part in what Wayne's been able to instil in them as individuals and as a combination.
"I remember Wayne being calm and measured in the way he prepared the team. He didn't overcomplicate things too much but he'll have all of his players understanding what their roles are."