Broncos forward Tom Flegler is facing the possibility that he may have played his last game for Brisbane after suffering a Lisfranc injury during their loss to the Gold Coast. This type of foot injury typically requires surgery and can keep a player sidelined for several months, as seen with Luke Thompson from the Bulldogs this season. The Broncos are uncertain about the extent of Flegler’s injury and will consult with a specialist for the best course of treatment. They are hopeful that he will only be out for a few weeks.
Joining Flegler in the team’s casualty ward is Jordan Riki, who is dealing with plantar fascia concerns and a stress reaction. Riki could potentially be out of action for up to eight weeks. Kurt Capewell, another second-rower for the Broncos, will also miss the upcoming game against the Dolphins due to a quad tendon issue. It is unclear when these players will be able to return to the field.
Speaking about Flegler’s injury, Broncos prop Martin Taupau deferred to the medical staff but expressed hope that the recovery period would be short, allowing the players to return in time for the later part of the season. Taupau acknowledged that having key players sidelined for a couple of weeks is not ideal but sees it as an opportunity for other forwards to step up and fill their roles.
In another setback for the Broncos, fullback Reece Walsh has been unsuccessful in his attempt to fight a contrary conduct charge handed to him by the NRL judiciary. Walsh was caught on camera using expletives during the team’s loss to the Titans. He argued that his words were directed at a teammate, not the referee, but received a three-game suspension. Walsh will miss Queensland’s final State of Origin match as a result.
Following a four-hour hearing, Walsh was found guilty of the charge, despite the defense offered by Titans player David Fifita and teammate Pat Carrigan. The NRL panel concluded that Walsh had a tendency to challenge referee decisions, as he had previously been warned about his behavior. With Walsh out, Tristan Sailor and Selwyn Cobbo are expected to fill in at fullback, with Sailor fighting for a contract extension.
Taupau emphasised that the Broncos‘ senior players had not specifically discussed with Walsh the need to control his emotions and avoid on-field outbursts. He believes that the fire and competitiveness displayed by Walsh are what propelled him into the State of Origin arena at such a young age. However, Taupau acknowledged that maturity and experience are important in managing these emotions, and he hopes that Walsh learns from this incident.
Despite the challenges the Broncos are facing with injuries and suspensions, they remain focused on their competitive nature and are determined to overcome these setbacks. Taupau believes that having a competitive drive is essential in contact sports but acknowledges that there is a need for players to balance their emotions and actions. He remains optimistic about the team’s ability to overcome these obstacles and come out stronger in the end.