Broncos wary of Roosters' silent assassin

They say it's the quiet ones you have to watch the most so while the Broncos will be ready for the bluff and bluster of Roosters bookends Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Dylan Napa they will also be keeping an eye out for the largely unheralded Sio Siua Taukeiaho.

‌Named on the interchange bench for Friday's Qualifying Final at Allianz Stadium, Taukeiaho is the type of player that can single-handedly change the momentum of a game, as he showed in the Roosters' Round 21 win over the Cowboys.

Trailing 16-6 at half-time, the Roosters jumped on the back of a rampant Taukeiaho to score 16 unanswered points as the 25-year-old racked up an astonishing 183 metres, a try and six tackle busts in just 29 minutes in the second term alone.

The devastating display drew comparisons with North Queensland wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo and underlined just what a destructive presence the Tongan and Kiwi international can have in the Telstra Premiership.

The build-up will focus on the ferocity that Waerea-Hargreaves and Napa will attack the Broncos' forward pack in the opening exchanges but the Brisbane big men know what lies waiting to be unleashed from the bench.

"He's not unheralded up here," said Broncos lock forward Josh McGuire.

"If you ask any player, every player talks him up and how good of a player he is.

"We know how quality he is and how much of a good football player he brings to their team.

"We don't under-rate any of their players. You've got to play at the highest standard to play in the NRL and he's an international as well and we know the quality football he can play."

Taukeiaho's 2016 season was brought to a premature end when he suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament 90 seconds into the Round 25 clash with the Sharks which also meant that he missed the Four Nations tournament and first six weeks of the 2017 season as he completed his recovery.

In his first game back against the Knights in Round 7 he ran for 138 metres and after a hamstring injury disrupted his season mid-year he returned – again against Newcastle – in Round 20 and powered through 168m in 50 minutes before tearing the Cowboys to shreds a week later.

In more recent weeks he has been battling through the pain of a dislocated finger that hasn't settled back down and a calf injury that saw him in a brace the day after the Roosters' unconvincing win over the Titans last Saturday. 

Adam Blair will captain the Broncos on Friday night in Darius Boyd's absence and after playing alongside Taukeiaho as part of the New Zealand tour of England in 2015 knows that he is quite happy to go along unnoticed.

"He's just a quiet guy that goes about his business," Blair told NRL.com.

"He's a pretty easy going guy, pretty humble guy that just goes out there and does what he has to do for the team.

"I know how Siua plays and I reckon he's one of their most damaging forwards, especially when he's running out wide.

"He's a big part of their team. They get a lot of go forward, especially on the edges, off him.

"The guy is about 112-113 kilos, got good feet, got good skill and when you've got someone like that running a bit wider at your back-rowers or your halves, he's hard to contain.

"For us it's nullifying the middle so he doesn't get those opportunities but to be honest I reckon he's one of their better forwards when it comes to running the ball."