Once, it appeared potential relegation from premiership stardom could have catalysed the exit of Broncos’ sensation Kotoni Staggs, inevitably diverting him towards one of Brisbane’s rivals. In this climate of tumultuous uncertainty, the young gun is now confronted with an exhilarating one-on-one showdown, as his side prepares for their first finals match since 2019. Staggs is undeterred, declaring this individual contest is just the spark needed to ignite his performance.
In 2020, the Red Hill squad grappled with their first spoon, eliciting interest in Staggs from multiple competing teams. The Eels, the Knights, the Bulldogs, and the Titans were rumoured to be eyeing off the 24-year-old. Nevertheless, Staggs demonstrated his commitment to the Broncos, signing on for another stint until 2025.
The reassurance he made the right call in staying, Staggs affirms, is attributed to the ambitious reign of coach Kevin Walters. “I love this club, it’s always been the club I’ve wanted to be a part of. I just knew there were good things coming, and I’m glad that I did re-sign, and I’m here now,” stated Staggs, expressing his unrelenting loyalty to the team.
The Broncos’ recovery from their lowest point has delivered renewed hope. “There’s a few boys who have been through it all. That season we got the wooden spoon was pretty tough, to take that all in and soak it up,” Staggs reflected grimly. He remains optimistic though, adding, “To be where we are now is just one step towards where we need to go to”.
Meanwhile, victory in 2023 has rewarded Staggs with arguably his most consistent NRL season. He’s enjoyed a largely unbroken run, owing only to a single suspension. The aggressive sporting dynamo has consistently executed his defensive duties while keeping his physicality intact, validating his debut in the State of Origin the previous year.
Staggs’ record this season boasts 12 tries, 13 line breaks, and an average of over three tackle busts per game, amassing 118 metres of ground over 23 appearances. Yet, he’s fully aware that the finals represents a new challenge.
Nonetheless, Staggs is ready to face the challenge head-on, fuelled by the bitter memory of the 58-0 defeat at the hands of Parramatta in 2019. He adamantly declared there’s no room for past failures to cloud the present. No matter who his opponent may be, they should prepare for a fierce resistance: “We don’t want to have past losses floating around in the background. It’s definitely not in our heads.”