Brisbane's former offload king Corey Parker believes Tevita Pangai jnr looms as an X-factor for the team's run to the finals provided he continues to nail his own selective offloads.
Pangai tops the NRL with 47 offloads after 18 rounds but it is the increased quality of his offloads, rather than the quantity, that has most impressed Parker, who returned to the club's coaching staff this year in a mentoring role for the forwards.
Parker boasted a strong offload during his 347-game NRL career and works with Pangai and the Brisbane forwards on the valuable skill.
"I don't know that leading the comp in offloads is something to hang your hat on. More important is how effective Tevita's offloads have been in the last month," Parker told NRL.com.
"Against the Bulldogs last week he had four offloads and three led to tries. A few weeks earlier he came up with one against the Cronulla Sharks which won the game. They are the ones you want.
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"He has been very selective and his teammates have bought into it.
"They have said to themselves 'we are going to trail him, push around the ball and see what comes of it'."
Parker said that due to the structured nature of defensive lines in the modern game the unpredictability of the offload added to its value.
"I still think it is the best play in the game the late offload, or any decent offload to be honest," he said.
"It doesn't matter how much video you do on a left edge, right edge or middle you can't do any video on an offload because no-one knows where it is going to go or what it is going to do. That is why they are so potent.
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"When you see a good offload it can change the momentum for five, 10 or 15 minutes. It can be the difference in winning a game or just creating some ruck speed. I was known for offloading when I was playing, and for that reason."
Parker's philosophy on offloads is in line with that of coach Anthony Seibold who said he wanted the Tongan international to use his weapons and not play in a straitjacket.
"We talk about selective offloads and sighted offloads. It is not just an offload that is out the back," Seibold said.
"That was what Tevita had to work on when I first came to the club. He is a lot more selective now and he sights his target which is very important for any player that offloads.
"We don’t play structured footy and I don’t want us to play structured footy. I want us to play the principles of creating momentum and one way to create momentum is with an offload.
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"There are times and places on the field where you want offloads to happen but Tevita has got a really good skill so why make him a robot and run straight ahead? If it is on, I want him to play with the footy."
Parker said the ability to offload also opened up "a whole new dimension" of Pangai's play that he could use with great impact as he becomes more experienced.
"All these little avenues open up just because the defensive line think you are going to offload and aren’t sure what you are going to do. Tevita has certainly got that ability. He has got some pretty fair ammo’ in his weapons."
Pangai will start at lock for Saturday's Cbus Super Stadium clash with the Titans.