Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako.

Isaako's radar like goal kicking draws comparisons to El Masri and Halligan

The comedian and film director Woody Allen once said "80 per cent of success is just showing up".

When it comes to goal kicking sensation Jamayne Isaako he is certainly showing up, both in NRL games when it counts and even on his days off where coach Wayne Bennett said recently he often sees him on his own practising his goal kicking.

Allen basically meant that to achieve success you have to keep putting yourself out there and in a position to work on your craft.

NRL.com spoke to 22-year-old Isaako this week about the secrets to his goal kicking success which has been a key factor in Brisbane's surge into the top eight.

In 15 games he has landed 50 goals in 2018 at strike rate of 80.6%, with which compares favourably to great goal kickers Hazem El Masri and Daryl Halligan who had career averages of 81.97% and 79.31% respectively.

The unflappable Kiwi international has won games for the Broncos with perfect nights against the Tigers and Bulldogs where the opposition scored more tries but his boot was the decisive factor.

Against the Raiders last week he landed five from five, mostly from acute angles, in another complete display.

Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako.
Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos

Club legend Michael De Vere has been assisting the Broncos in all aspects of their kicking at least once a week.

Isaako said that while he hadn't changed the way he strikes the ball, De Vere had provided a crucial addition to his preparation.

"Mick hasn't tried to change anything with my kicking style because he thinks I am striking the ball pretty good...but I never had a routine until this year and Mick brought that in because of his own experience and I think it has paid off," Isaako told NRL.com.

"I like to kick at least 30 balls a session on my day off, although a lot of kicking coaches say you should kick a lot less, but for me that helps me know I can slot them from certain points and comfortably.

"I normally start off from in front and move out to the side, but I like to kick most of my balls from in front 30 metres out because that gives you confidence.

"Normally when we get penalties they are from in front and goal kicking comes down to how you strike it. When you practice from in front you get more of a feel for how you slot the ball, and then when you take it out to the side you do the exact same thing and it all feels natural."

Bennett said after the win over the Raiders that Isaako's success had been on the back of hard work.

"I see him training every time we have a day off," Bennett said.

"He comes in and kicks goals and that is what practice does. It makes you better.

"A few of the goals he kicked [against Canberra] were from the sideline. They were crucial goals and magnificent kicks."

Jamayne Isaako scores a try for the Broncos.
Jamayne Isaako scores a try for the Broncos. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

Isaako kicked at over 86% for Souths-Logan last year in the Intrust Super Cup but said when he got the opportunity in the NRL this year he knew he had to up the ante.

"This year I didn't come into the team thinking I was going to be the goal kicker but when Jordan Kahu got injured in that game against the Cowboys [in round two] it gave me the opportunity to show what I could bring to the table.

"It is something I pride myself on. "Every little bit of spare time I get I like to come to the club and practice my goal kicking because I know, like on the weekend against Canberra, that it is crucial in close games where we need to go up in sixes.

"I come in mostly on Wednesdays, or days when we are not training, and spend a bit of time on my kicking.

"I get a lot of confidence during the week so when I go into the game I'm confident as well because I've nailed certain spots on the field."

It is not just Isaako's goal kicking and restarts that have been crucial this season. His general play has been outstanding where his ability under the high ball and running game has got Brisbane out of plenty of binds, including his last minute dash against the Roosters to secure a thrilling win at Suncorp Stadium.

When Isaako contacted Bennett when he was at Cronulla to ask for an opportunity, the Brisbane coach didn't know much about him.

Now Bennett has predicted Isaako will be the Broncos fullback in years to come.

"He was always highly talented," Bennett said.

"He rang me up and said he wanted to come to the Broncos when I'd just come back.

"I went and watched some vision of him and he had oodles of talent. It's taken us four years to get us to this point so imagine what he's going to be like in another four years, and probably fullback is going to be his position later on when Darius [Boyd] retires."