In the 217 days since his last game for the Broncos, Thomas Flegler has had plenty of time to refine his tackling technique and reflect on the two high shots that blotted his copybook late in the 2021 season.
Flegler copped a two-match ban in round 19 last year for a careless high tackle on Penrith's Isaah Yeo and then landed in hot water again in round 24 when he caught Cronulla's Jack Williams high and was hit with a four-match suspension.
Given Flegler has won just 16 of his 55 games in the top grade, missing the Broncos' morale-boosting victories over the Cowboys (rd 20) and Knights (rd 25) and this year's back-to-back triumphs over Souths and Canterbury was even more galling... and it's not an experience he wants to go through again.
As he prepares to re-enter the fray against the Warriors in Redcliffe on Saturday, the 22-year-old has made his mission to channel his aggression and help the Broncos continue their positive start to 2022.
"I need to try and keep my cool," Flegler said. "You can’t play very good footy sitting on the sideline – that's no good for the team.
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"I've been working on keeping a cool head and not going outside our principles in defence and attack and I think I’ll be much better for it.
"I've been working with our defence coach 'Bumper' [Brett O'Farrell] on my tackle technique which at times does get a bit out of hand and that leads me to get suspended.
"There are times during a game where you have these snap lapses but you have to learn to control them because it’s no good for the team."
Flegler's impact from the bench will be critical to a Broncos outfit which could be without Jordan Riki (ribs) and Kurt Capewell (calf) for the showdown with the powerful Warriors pack.
Flegler said Capewell's professionalism has been there for all to see since the premiership-winning back-rower joined the club from Penrith.
"There's not a lot of experience here so it’s great to see how professional Kurt is on and off the field and he's very disciplined," Flegler said.
"Losing Jordan would be a blow as well. Those two guys have been great for us but we have TC Robati who can fit in and other guys coming through."
When the two sides met in round 23 last year, Addin Fonua-Blake ran for a phenomenal 207 metres for the Warriors, Payne Haas matched that with 204 metres for Brisbane, and Flegler made 143 metres from 12 runs in 45 minutes of game time.
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The forward battle again holds the key this weekend as the Broncos chase a third win for the year and look to make amends for a below-par effort against the Cowboys.
Flegler was again a frustrated spectator as Jeremiah Nanai, Tom Gilbert, Jordan McLean, Jason Taumalolo, Reuben Cotter and Griffin Neame all churned out more than 100 metres in a dominant Cowboys performance.
"That loss brought us back down to earth a bit," Flegler said. "It was a reality check around our defence."
Having undertaken his own reality check during his enforced lay-off, Flegler is ready to try and add some steel to that defensive wall and get the Broncos back into the winners' list.