Kenny earns praise after Broncos debut
BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett was a happy camper after his "baby'' Broncos delivered a 22-10 win over the Sharks yesterday leaving the club in great shape during its traditional bogey period. With five stars on Origin duty Brisbane was led superbly by stand-in skipper Shane Webcke, claiming a fifth win in six games during the testing Origin campaign.
Bennett couldn't hide his delight at the team's perfor- mance against a Sharks outfit which had more than enough chances to win.
"I can't give them enough accolades ... that's about as good as it gets,'' declared Bennett. "At one stage I had a forward pack out there averaging about 20 years of age.'' Brisbane led 8-6 at half time and sneaked away with the game through tries to David Stagg in the 59th minute and impressive centre Justin Hodges (66th) who troubled the Sharks out wide all day. When asked how the Broncos had come through the tough representative period Bennett replied "We're laughing aren't we?''
Yesterday's performance featured an impressive debut by 22-year-old Rockhampton prop Nick Kenny along with the continued emergence of Sam Thaiday and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs. Sharks coach Stuart Raper admitted Brisbane was probably a step above the premiership pack. Webcke gave Kenny, a former Australian Universities representative, a big rap after he played fearlessly in his NRL debut against Australian and NSW prop Jason Stevens. "I thought Nick was tremendous for us,'' said Webcke.
"He did exactly what was required and what he does every week in the lower grades and that was to hit the ball up and tackle.