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Broncos halfback Tom Dearden.

Tom Dearden has convinced the Broncos he is their long-term halfback with coach Peter Gentle hailing the 20-year-old as a "shining light" in the team.

Dearden was in everything in the 28-24 loss to the Dragons and tried to win the game himself with a typically determined try to get the Broncos within two points with 10 minutes to play.

When Anthony Milford went off in the second half with a hamstring twinge, Dearden stepped up to take control and almost got his side over the line.

When asked whether Dearden was the long-term option at half, Gentle said "definitely".

"I see what everyone has seen. He is a shining light for us and there have been few and far between this year," Gentle said.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Dragons

"He works very hard on his game. He understands the game. You don’t have to draw him pictures… and I think you are starting to see what he can do.

"He has still got plenty of improvement in him and he’s a kid. His best footy is in front of him. Tommy has got a voice in this team now and he is starting to get them around the park."

Brisbane’s legendary playmakers Allan Langer, Kevin Walters and Darren Lockyer wanted the ball in their hands when the game was on the line and Dearden is also showcasing that trait.

"They want the ball in their hands in defining stages and when there is an opportunity to win a game and from a coach’s point of view he is the bloke you want with the ball in his hands," Gentle said.

Dearden just never gives up

"He showed a lot of confidence especially when we lost Anthony Milford. Tommy had to step up and he was good."

Milford had an ice pack on his hamstring after the game but Gentle said it was too early to say whether he would be fit to play the Roosters next week.

Gentle got the players warming up with drills at half-time when they trailed 18-12 as "something different",  to try and prevent the late-game fadeouts that had plagued them in recent weeks.

It worked, with the Broncos never throwing in the towel.

"It was a committed display," a proud Gentle said.

"We spoke about being there at the end of the game and being able to win it in the last 10 minutes and I  think they showed a lot of commitment and desire to please the fans and sponsors and show that we have something to play for.

"We have a very young side and it has been a challenge all week to come up with an interchange to manage those young fellas through the middle of the park.

"You’ve got your captain Patty Carrigan playing 80 minutes through the middle with his first minute as good as his last. If we keep showing up with that attitude we will get a [win] shortly."

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