Pangai jnr to stay with Broncos
Off-contract prop Tevita Pangai jnr has declared he is staying at the Brisbane Broncos in a massive boost to the club's future prospects.
The 22-year-old was a standout in the Broncos' 34-20 loss to the Melbourne Storm and has been in terrific form through seven rounds despite the side's inconsistent performances.
Last week Pangai told NRL.com that he hoped coach Wayne Bennett would ''hang around for 10 years and coach me for the rest of my career.''
After the loss to the Storm he allayed the fears of Broncos fans who thought he might have been lost to the club due to considerable interest from rival teams.
''We'll get it sorted. I'm not going anywhere,'' Pangai said.
''I'm staying here. I think everyone knows that and I'll get it sorted soon. It's Wayne [Bennett] and as a club we are just a great club and I don't want to be anywhere else. We are building something special here.''
Pangai jnr played a massive role in the Broncos' comeback from an 18-4 half-time deficit.
Slotting into a five-eighth type of role, the giant forward did his best impression of Wally Lewis by going to the line and throwing two superbly executed passes that led to tries for Jamayne Isaako and Alex Glenn.
He had told NRL.com earlier that he was a centre growing up but had another revelation about the origins of his ball skills.
''I grew up playing rugby union as an inside centre,'' he said.
''I liked Stirling Mortlock quite a bit and Dan Carter. When I was younger I liked Sonny Bill Williams and he had good ball skills.
''My parents never let me play league so I kept begging them to let me.''
Pangai brought some fire and brimstone to his play coming off the bench and gave Storm fullback Billy Slater a few don't-argues on the cusp of half-time that lifted his teammates.
''I probably carried on a bit there,'' Pangai grinned.
''I respect [Slater] highly and Cameron Smith, and them as a team. That [aggression] is how I want to be playing but I don't need to be carrying on like that. I think I should just be playing footy.
''I had a different role coming off the bench and they are premiers for a reason. You just want to bring your best game against the best.
''I think we could have done a job with Cooper Cronk not there, and when we got to 24-20 I thought we could have got them at the back end, but they put two quick tries on us.''
Brisbane back-rower Jaydn Su'A said he was relishing playing alongside Pangai.
''Tevita is going out there and being an X-factor player,'' Su'A told NRL.com.
''He does inspire you with his strong carries and his big defence. That says it all there.''