Sam Thaiday is the spiritual leader of the Brisbane Broncos pack and will be a key man for the Broncos this week as they prepare to face top-eight rivals Cronulla and their own spiritual leader Paul Gallen.
Thaiday's fellow forward Alex Glenn says his teammates are determined to send him out on the best possible note with another premiership as the 33-year-old's retirement looms.
The former Test and Maroons star has got a second wind since announcing his retirement and gave the Broncos a dream start against the Panthers on Friday night when he ran a superb line before getting a one-hander away for Tevita Pangai jnr to score.
Glenn said Thaiday's energy and enthusiasm had gone up another level and his teammates were determined to go with him.
"I believe that he would want to finish his career on a high and walk off that field with no regrets," Glenn said ahead of Thursday night's home clash with the Cronulla Sharks at Suncorp Stadium.
"The worst thing you can do is come off the field and think to yourselfthat you could have done more orcompete harder, but he has really stepped up and is laying the foundation for our boys in the middle.
Milford: Sharks win crucial for top four hopes
"It is huge for Sammy and we want to make sure we send him out on a high, so we are all competing for him.
"The way he played on the weekend, there were some tough carries that needed to be made and Sammy was always the one putting his hand up, crashing through the line and building momentum for us. He is inspiring those younger boys to run hard, tackle hard and never giving up competing."
Thaiday has played 297 NRL games for the Broncos and along with his teammates will be up against another one-club legend on Thursday night in Cronulla captain Gallen.
Gallen, with 318 NRL games under his belt for the Sharks, is nearing his 37th birthday but showing no signs of losing any of the mojo in his 18th season in the top grade.
The clash on Thursday night may yet be the last at Suncorp Stadium for the off-contract Gallen who has been a man the Brisbane faithful have loved to hate over the years.
Glenn said the Broncos had nothing but respect for the Sharks skipper who, like Thaiday, is a spiritual leader for Cronulla.
He said limiting Gallen's impact would be key to stopping Cronulla from gaining momentum through the middle.
"He is a bit like Sammy is for our pack. He inspires their pack I believe with the way that he carries the ball, the way he never gives up and competes," Glenn said.
"Gal is an aggressive player. I know him off the field and he is a great guy, but on the field he is a great competitor and that is what you want from your teammates. I have got no hatred against him. He just plays a tough style of football.
"I haven't played with him, so I am assuming he is taking as much care as he can off the field and doing his recoveries because it is not easy to play in the middle for so long in the style of footy that he has throughout his career."
Broncos five-eighth Anthony Milford also spoke to media on Monday at Broncos HQ where he said he had apologised to Penrith forward Corey Harawira-Naera for a hair pull that led to him being slapped with a grade 1 contrary conduct charge, which attracts a fine and not a suspension.
Milford faces fine
Milford said he regretted the incident.
"I apologised to him after the game and spoke to him," he said.
"It was an up and down game at the start. That's what happens when they keep sending their big boys out.
"The heat of the battle got the better of me and a bit of frustration. I'm moving forward from that."
Coaches Speak – Round 19