Maranta misses out on 'touchdown' treble
Brisbane Broncos winger Lachlan Maranta has blamed video games for costing him a hat-trick against the South Sydney Rabbitohs on Saturday night.
Maranta scored after just five minutes in his side's 30-10 win over the 2014 premiers at ANZ Stadium, but had another three tries disallowed in the second half.
Forward passes from Ben Hunt and Anthony Milford robbed him of what would have been certain tries, while Maranta had no one else to blame when he put a foot on the sideline before grounding the ball early in the second stanza.
Maranta said he and Hunt - who are roommates - had become obsessed with NFL game Madden, perhaps explaining why the Broncos halfback had channelled his hero, Tom Brady, with a pass the Patriots quarterback would have been proud of.
"We've been playing NFL in our room and I joked that we've been playing too much of that and throwing the ball forward," he told NRL.com.
"I go for the Denver Broncos, but he goes for the New England Patriots, so there's always been a bit of a rivalry between us.
"It was one of those nights; sometimes you get them and sometimes you don't. Hopefully next time those passes go back."
While he missed out on what could have been a four-try haul, Maranta said he was just happy to have contributed to what was Brisbane's second win in their past seven outings.
"Scoring a try at any stage of the game is good, but getting one early helped me turn my mind on," Maranta said.
"It just gave me that bit of confidence that I needed to keep going.
"It's a lot better that we've won because you come into the change room with a smile on your face. All the boys put in for each other and I think that's the basis of what the Broncos are about."
Saturday night's game was just Maranta's fifth of 2016 in what has been an injury-disrupted season for the 24-year-old outside back.
Maranta missed the start of the year after breaking a bone in his left wrist that also saw him miss out on representing the World All Stars in February.
The Broncos winger looked to have regained full fitness after that, only to injure his knee a month into the new season.
Maranta said he only had to look at some of his teammates for inspiration as he recovered from the back-to-back body blows.
"It was my first major injury, and then coming off that I did my MCL in my knee so it was a bit of a tough period, but I've got a pretty good support network around me," he said.
"You look at a player like Darius Boyd, and he's come off his Achilles injury recently. Being an outside back helps talking to him because he can relate to what I was going through.
"You go down, but with the support that you've got here, you come out the other side with a positive outlook.
"It was pretty bad timing, but little things like that shape you as the person you are. Hopefully it makes me stronger. I understand injuries are part of this business, but I can say that I've been blessed to only have my first serious injury when I was 24.
"I'm just taking that work I did in my rehab and I think it's showing now on the field."