How Brisbane Broncos can cover losing Lodge
The luxury of depth means even with Matt Lodge going down long term, the Broncos still have plenty of interesting options in the middle of the field.
Payne Haas attracted plenty of attention last year, and rightly so, but Lodge had a fine season in his own right. Not only was his work rate excellent, he showcased an uncommon passing skill that made him an integral part of Brisbane's attack.
There's a reason he was included in Origin discussions, and why the Broncos explored him as a possible captain.
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Joe Ofahengaue has a tremendous workrate and is capable of playing long minutes and shapes as the natural replacement, but he may well have already been slated as starting lock already.
The other variable is just how Anthony Seibold planned to use Tevita Pangai Junior. Pangai Junior can play in the middle or on the edge, and while he's got more NRL experience as the former he's more destructive as the latter.
Further complicating matters is Alex Glenn's elevation to the captaincy - given the dearth of experience across the park, it seems unlikely Seibold would want Glenn to start off the bench, and Lodge's injury gives him a reason to switch Pangai Junior to the middle, either at lock or prop, and start Glenn at second row.
However, given the club has such high wraps on Tom Flegler and Pat Carrigan, they may well opt to start one of the young tyros.
That would open a spot on the bench for somebody like Rhys Kennedy, or even Jamil Hopoate.
by Wilson Smith
Lodge averaged 57 minutes in 2019, leaving a pretty big gap which will have to go to other players.
Haas is more than capable of playing for the entire 80 minutes and may be needed to do so now, making him even more of a must have SuperCoach player.
Ofahengaue emerges as an interesting option. Before this injury he was looking at playing around 40 minutes off the bench, but is capable of far longer stints.
He also has the 2RF dual eligibility which makes him another midranger to consider priced at $449,500. He has looked decent in the past, but has never really had the minutes to make him really SuperCoach relevant.
Another two options the club has to start at fullback would be Patrick Carrigan or Thomas Flegler, priced at $326,300 and $294,900 respectively and each also having the FRF/ 2RF dual eligibility. At these prices they are outside cheapie range, but there aren't many locked and loaded forward cheapies so they could be decent mid-range options to consider.
Matt Lodge was a POD before the injury with just 3% ownership, but whoever replaces him at prop could be in for a huge rise in popularity for KFC SuperCoach.