Broncos prop Tom Flegler has been warned by coach Kevin Walters that he needs to control his aggression after he and debutant Brendan Piakura were sinbinned in Saturday night’s 24-16 loss to Cronulla at Suncorp Stadium.
Flegler, who was making his third appearance since returning from a two-match ban for a grade three careless high tackle on Penrith forward Isaah Yeo, was given his marching orders midway through the first half for a high shot on Sharks forward Jack Williams.
The sin-binning proved to be a significant turning point in the game as the Broncos led 10-4 at the time but trailed 16-10 upon Flegler’s return and he conceded another penalty before halftime that enabled Braydon Trindall to extend Cronulla’s lead by a further two points.
“Finding the balance is the key with Tom,” Walters said. “His contact was just a little bit high, although the idea was right because we needed something.
“He is that sort of player, he does like to play aggressively so he will just need to make sure he has got the discipline side right as well. He will have to find a way otherwise he will be sitting on the sideline a lot.”
Walters felt that ill-discipline had proved costly against the Sharks and Piakura played just 11 minutes in his NRL debut after being sin-binned for a late shot on Trindall.
Match Highlights: Sharks v Broncos
However, Walters believes the teenage second-rower has a bright future with the club, along with centre Selwyn Cobbo, forward TC Robati, Kobe Hetherington and Xavier Willison, who have all made their NRL debuts this season.
“He was a bit disappointed in there but I think he showed enough that he is going to be a good player for us in the future,” Walter said of Piakura.
“We have blooded five young kids this year who have all come through our academy which tells me that those guys are doing a good job but also that when these kids come through they are handling themselves okay.”
All played against the Sharks except Willison, who is injured, with Cobbo impressing in just his fifth NRL appearance.
“We saw some glimpses tonight and he is another good young prospect for us,” Walters said. “We know it is in Selwyn, with the ability he has so it is gradually getting squeezed out of him each week that he played.
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“He is another good young player who is going to be a long termer for us and a quality long-termer.
“He hasn’t done an NRL pre-season yet so from what he is showing to where he can get to it is very exciting for all Broncos fans and for Selwyn and his family as well because they have done a great job bringing him up.”
The Broncos will farewell captain Alex Glenn, who announced his retirement earlier this week, South Sydney-bound playmaker Anthony Milford and Melbourne recruit Xavier Coates next weekend against Newcastle.