Brisbane's smiling teenage assassin Selwyn Cobbo was quick to play down his chances of playing State of Origin in 2022 after a sizzling hat-trick in the Broncos’ 38-0 thumping of Manly in Magic Round.
But despite his modesty, Maroons selectors may have no other option than to pitch the 19-year-old wing sensation into the cauldron of Origin football if he continues his rapid rise through the NRL.
Cobbo was asked after his hat-trick heroics if he had spoken to new Maroons coach Billy Slater and he shyly responded with “not really” before adding “he just said keep doing what I’m doing’’.
“I’m not sure about that (playing Origin this year) but one day I’ll get to play Origin. If that time comes, I’ll be ready for that.
For the moment, I’m just worrying about the next game for the Broncos — I'm not really worried about Origin.Selwyn Cobbo
“I grew up watching GI (Greg Inglis) play. He was my favourite. I just loved everything he did on the field. He’s my idol.’’
Cobbo’s hat-trick and the double to Corey Oates revived memories of Brisbane wingers Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuqiri terrorising rival sides in the late 1990s and early 2000s with size, speed, power and finishing ability.
Cobbo's Magic Round hat-trick
Cobbo and Oates combined for five tries, 429 running metres, seven tackle breaks and three line breaks as Brisbane also sparked flashbacks to the 44-10 thrashing of Manly in the club’s first premiership match in 1988 at Lang Park.
“I just moved on and turned up to training and just worried about the game. I tried to put in for the boys and do my job and help out the team,’’ Cobbo said.
“For me every game is just another game and to play in front of all the fans is pretty fun, It’s pretty loud out there and I’ve always got a smile on my face.”
Cobbo goes 100m for his third
“(Broncos captain Adam Reynolds) gives me a lot of confidence in what I do — even at training he gives me that confidence. And it happens in our game too [so] I’m really grateful for what he does off the field and on the field.’’
Off contract at the end of 2023, rival clubs will be no doubt clambering for Cobbo but he indicated that his first preference is to stay at the Broncos.
“I love the Broncs. I grew up watching them. From a young age too, I went through the system,’’ he said. ‘’They do so much for me and I’ve just got to put back into them and perform for them and hopefully we’ll be back up there soon.’’
Brisbane coach Kevin Walters was full of praise for both wingers.
“If I think of the great Broncos teams over the years, I think of some great wingers. When your wingers are scoring tries there’s a lot of great work being done on the inside,’’ he said.
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“I love seeing Selwyn get into the open space. He’s had a good couple of weeks now that puts him in a good position to move his game forward.
“The bigger the occasion, Selwyn would step up to it but Selwyn needs to just get his feet on the ground and continue to play well and all those other things (Origin) look after themselves.’’
Reynolds said the Cobbo had the work ethic as well as the attacking weapons.
“He’s a certainly a talent — he’s a kid that’s out there and he’s trying his hardest. He’s enjoying the challenge as well doing the tough stuff,’’ he said
“I don’t want to compare him to Greg Inglis because he’s not Greg Inglis, he’s Selwyn Cobbo and his development is only going to get better. He’s a young kid that’s eager to learn and when you are hungry like that you are going to go places.”