McCullough deserves rep call-up
Broncos captain Darius Boyd has called for Andrew McCullough to be recognised with representative honours after another outstanding performance from the Brisbane hooker.
McCullough starred in Brisbane's 32-8 win over the Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, with many seeing the inspirational rake as the man of the match.
The 27-year-old's night included a try, a try assist, 48 tackles and 138 kicking metres, comprehensively outplaying his direct opponent Jake Friend.
Friend has been widely regarded as the replacement in waiting for Queensland hooker Cameron Smith when the Storm rake decides to hang up the boots, but McCullough's form in 2017 says otherwise.
Turning 34 later this year, Smith's years left in a Queensland and Australian jersey are quickly coming to an end and Maroons coach Kevin Walters will soon need to look elsewhere to fill the No.9 jersey.
For Boyd the choice is obvious, with the Australian and Queensland fullback saying that if McCullough were to earn a representative jersey it would be thoroughly deserved.
"The way he plays is inspiring," Boyd said.
"You never have to look over your shoulder because you can trust him every time he's out on the field with you.
"He's always going to do his best for us and whatever team he plays for.
"I know McCullough is a great player and I've known that for a long time.
"It's good to see him playing great footy and a representative jersey wouldn't look out of place for him that's for sure."
Although McCullough's statistics on Thursday night were impressive, there was one act of determination that stole the show.
After already making 41 tackles, McCullough added another one when he latched onto Daniel Tupou to force a pass to Michael Gordon in the 57th minute.
Gordon went through the Broncos' defensive line to make a clean break and looked all but certain to score – enter McCullough.
Brisbane's hooker came from nowhere, outrunning a man much faster than him with want and desire.
Doing his best superman impression, McCullough dived at full stretch to ankle tap Gordon 15 metres from the try line, saving a certain try.
It was an act that coach Wayne Bennett will no doubt refer to as the season goes on, and the master coach was full of praise for his reliable hooker after the match.
"He's playing great footy and that's all you can do. It's the best football I've seen him play since I've been here," Bennett said.
"He's won a couple of player of the match awards already this season.
"On Thursday night he scored a try and set one up for Korbin Sims with a great delay of his pass.
"You see all the tackling he does so he'd have to be tired. The way he chased down the middle of the field and made that ankle tap was just incredible."