Broncos v Wide Bay Trial Stories
Baby Broncos Bedazzle Bulls

Courtesy of the Bundaberg News-Mail
By Vince Habermann

TOO big, too strong, too skilful, too fast, too fit and far too good.

That was the story as a Brisbane “Baby Broncos’’ team bucked the Wide Bay Bulls 72-16 in the “Stampede in the Isis’’ at Childers Showgrounds, on Saturday night.

The game was a fitting climax to the district’s three-day leaguefest as part of the 2006 NRL Community Carnival and the Broncos’ stars of the future were out in force and turned it on.

An early double to flamboyant Zimbabwean-born winger Gideon Mzembe laid the platform and a white-wash was on the cards after they led 16-nil at quarter-time, 32-nil at half-time and 56-nil on the verge of three-quarter time before Bulls fullback Paul Ivan crossed and Kris Williams converted.

A blow-out loomed when one of the Broncos’ two team members with NRL experience, giant winger Tame Tupou, scored the softest of tries to start the last term, then centre Alex Tallon, a 2005 Australian rugby union schoolboys representative, also completed a personal double almost from the ensuing restart.

But their coach Mark Gee was a “bit disappointed’’ after they added just one more try from that point, and really clocked off in the final five minutes, allowing the Bulls to grab two late brilliant tries of their own.

Three other young Broncos also grabbed two tries apiece - 18-year-old fullback Denan Kemp, who has laid claim to the fastest player in the whole club, five-eighth Jacob Fauid and interchange dynamo Jamie Simpson.

Despite their couple of lapses, Gee described it as “a good hit-out’’, rating bustling hooker Ian Lacey and workaholic former North Queensland Cowboys and Parramatta Eels second rower Chris Muckert as “two of our better players’’.

“We’ve worked a fair bit on our defence in the off-season and we achieved that for most of the match,’’ Gee said.

Gee described the team as the “potential future of the club, whether it is this year or in the next couple of years’’ but he named Fraser Anderson, whose brothers Louis and Vinnie are New Zealand Test stars, as possibly the closest to playing NRL.

“Fraser is new to the club but there’s plenty of wraps on his ability and is a young player with the potential to do things,’’ he said.

Baby Broncos wallop Wide Bay  (courtesy of
by Scott Dickson
Sunday February 05, 2006

THE Ergon Energy Broncos football future appears in good hands after a trial side filled with up-and-comers crushed a Wide Bay representative team 72-16 in the club’s pre-season opener at Childers last night.  

Containing only two players with NRL experience, winger Tame Tupou and former Eels and Cowboys forward Chris Muckert, the Broncos scored 13 tries to ensure a successful start to 2006.

Six players grabbed doubles, including NRL squad members Tupou and 18-year-old fullback Denan Kemp, who was in doubt of playing earlier in the week after injurying his right foot at training.

Others to grab a brace were centre Alex Tallon, 17, five-eighth Jacob Fauid, 17, young winger Gideon Mzembe and benchman Jamie Simpson.

Forward Nathan Strudwick, son of former World Cup halfback Ross who was a top coach with Valleys, Brothers and the London Broncos, also crossed.

Halfback Ben Green, cousin of former Queensland State of Origin no.7 Paul Green, kicked six goals, while prolific goal-kicker Tallon kicked four.

Broncos’ football manager Andrew Gee said Zimbabwean-born Mzembe was one of the stars but promising back Fraser Anderson lacked match practice.

New Zealand-born Anderson, 21, returned to the game this year after quitting the Warriors development squad in 2003 to join a mormon missionary.

"Gideon was really good out on the wing tonight," Gee told AAP.

"Fraser went quite well but obviously hadn't played and, at times, it showed.

"I think it will take him a while to get back into the game."

The Broncos face a tougher prospect in their next trial next Saturday when they clash with North Queensland in Rockhampton.

It will be a match where a healthy amount of NRL stars will be on show.

Brisbane Broncos 72 (D Kemp, G Mzembe, A Tallon, T Tupou, J Fauid, J Simpson 2, R Strudwick tries; B Green 6, A Tallon 4 goals) defeated Wide Bay Representative Team 16.