The Broncos have been worried about by Selwyn Cobbo’s attitude long before last weekend’s embarrassing podcast gaffe in which he questioned Kevin Walters’ coaching ability.
The tall flyer hit the NRL like a whirlwind early last season, scoring 10 tries in the opening 12 rounds of the year to win Queensland State of Origin selection.
The 20-year-old was the talk of the town but as a long season unfolded, cracks began to appear.
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He slept in and was late for the Broncos’ final training run before their most important game of their season, then told Walters he needed a ‘rest’ and was stood down for another crucial match.
At the time, Cobbo claimed he was mentally and physically exhausted – a claim that raised massive alarm bells.
For a 20-year-old winger to want a break in his first full season – with his team in desperate need of his strike power – was unheard of and officials weren’t happy.
Throw a six month suspended drivers license into the mix for driving an unregistered vehicle and the Broncos could tell they had a ‘high maintenance’ player on their hands.
“He’s a good kid but there are definitely ‘issues’ there,” a senior Broncos official told me late last season.
“He is one we are going to have to work on.”
The club has attempted to accommodate Cobbo, mindful of the fact that he is a country boy still coming to terms with life in the big city, but there is frustration from both parties – which goes a long way to explaining Cobbo’s stunning podcast rant.
Hopefully the young flyer can get his act together before the season kickoff – otherwise he may not live up to his amazing potential in the game.
No bad blood
If you believe there is bad blood between Phil Gould and Ivan Cleary about the much talked about way in which the latter left Penrith after his first stint as coach at the end of 2015, you better think again.
When asked about coaches who had an impact on him by his good mate Hayden Knowles in a podcast this week, Cleary said Gould was “by far and away the biggest influence”.
“He signed me to go to the Roosters in the mid ’90s … when he went there and was transforming the club.
“He coached me for four years and I was just blown away by the way he saw the game, and the way he coached was nothing like I’d seen before.
“I loved it and I still, to this day (am) very much shaped by him about how to play the game.”
Interesting stuff considering the supposed feud between the pair after Cleary was sent packing at the time.
New star Eel in waiting
Eels fans worried at losing Mitchell Moses for 2024 can breathe a little easier following the emergence of a superb young prospect from within their own ranks
Ethan Sanders is just 19 and starred for the Eels in the Flegg Cup last year.
There’s a bit of Trent Barrett in his play and he has all the skills to make it to the top.
The club has their eyes on him and he’ll challenge Jake Arthur for the number seven jumper should Moses make the leap to the Tigers or Bulldogs in 2024.
Dragons add extra fight
An amateur boxer has joined the Dragons from Queensland to give the club extra punch up front.
Carlos Pauli, an 18-year-old middle forward, has signed with the club and will start his journey in the SG Ball Cup next season.
At 105 kilos, Pauli, from renowned league nursery Keebra Park High School on the Gold Coast, has a real presence and plays long minutes for a big youngster.
He impressed for Tweed Seagulls in the Mal Meninga Cup last year, is still growing and is definitely one to watch out for.
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