Electric Broncos talent Selwyn Cobbo stamps himself as the NRL’s hottest up-and-coming star with touches of brilliance as the Broncos show huge improvement – and all without megastar recruit Adam Reynolds
- Selwyn Cobbo stamped himself as the most exciting youngster in the NRL
- The Broncos talent put in an electrifying first half display against the Rabbitohs
- Cobbo put together a sensational run, and scored a try that was overturned
- Brisbane fans will be excited at the prospect of a Cobbo-Adam Reynolds duo
He might’ve butchered two sure tries and had another overruled by the video ref, but Broncos young gun Selwyn Cobbo only needed 45 minutes of football to stamp himself as one of the NRL’s brightest young stars as Brisbane looked a far better team than last year against Souths.
The 19-year-old made an electrifying break down the right sideline early in the match, slicing through Souths’ left-side defence with a devastating step and tearing away from cover tacklers before throwing a shocking forward pass to half Albert Kelly with a certain try going begging.
He then launched himself at the stripe in the 14th minute with a leap a circus acrobat would’ve been proud of, only to be denied by the bunker for going into touch.
Selwyn Cobbo put in an electrifying first half to establish himself as NRL’s hottest talent
The 19-year-old has always been highly regarded and showcased his talents once again
Cobbo (left) put in a dazzling run before forward passing, before seeing a try overturned
Another forward pass with Kelly staring at space between him and the line cruelled another four-pointer just after halftime, but Cobbo showed amazing poise to get the ball away at all after notching one of several good takes under the high ball.
The winger/fullback from the country town of Cherbourg is still raw both physically and in terms of match experience in just his ninth first-grade game, but he has qualities that can’t be taught – marvellous instincts, great speed off the mark and the ability to stretch out and change direction at full pace when in the open.
He should be an attention magnet for years to come.
Cobbo and his partner in crime in the centres, Kotoni Staggs, showed they have the makings of a deadly combination – the former providing the pace and flash, the latter incisive and powerful running – and they also did a good job of thwarting Souths’ vaunted left-edge attack until Josh Mansour crossed in the corner in the 31st minute.
Playing fullback in the Broncos’ poor trial showing against North Queensland, Cobbo was a standout for a Brisbane side that had fans rightfully worried about how they’d fare without former Rabbitohs gun halfback Adam Reynolds, the side’s biggest signing in years.
But the winger was far from alone in putting those worries to rest in the first half of the contest at Suncorp, with a noticeable lift in intensity and effort right across the park for Brisbane, who were showing desperation in one of the facets of the game that best demonstrates whether a team is playing with heart: the kick chase.
Broncos will be excited at the prospect of seeing Cobbo link up with recruit Adam Reynolds
On their showing in the first 40, Broncos fans will be salivating at the prospect of Reynolds adding his majestic kicking game and great play at the line to a side that has picked up where they left off with their late-season uptick in form in 2021 – and have added plenty more with the likes of new recruit Kurt Capewell putting badly needed starch into their defence.
As for Souths, rookie Lachlan Ilias stepping into the void left by Reynolds went about as expected, with the Bunnies’ attack looking disjointed compared to last year, especially at the end of their sets, which lacked the team’s usual polish.
And pivot Cody Walker had a recurring nightmare at Suncorp, throwing an intercept pass that resulted in a try, just like he did in the last game he played on Brisbane’s home turf: last year’s grand final.