NRL Magic Round 2022: Adam Reynolds shines as Brisbane Broncos defeat Manly Sea Eagles

There’s no better stage than Magic Round upon which to push your Origin credentials, and that’s just what Brisbane’s Selwyn Cobbo did on Friday night.

Selwyn Cobbo has fielded a call from Queensland coach Billy Slater as the Broncos sensation looks to emulate his idol Greg Inglis by clinching a shock State of Origin debut.

The 19-year-old from the Queensland bush town of Cherbourg has rocketed into the frame to win a maiden Maroons jumper following his hat-trick heroics in Brisbane’s 38-0 mauling of Manly on Friday night.

Just 11 months ago, the painfully shy Cobbo was making his NRL debut against the Dragons in Sydney, with Slater on hand at Kogarah’s Jubilee Stadium to watch the teenager as an expert commentator for Channel 9.

Now, having since ascended to the Queensland coaching role, Slater has reached out to Cobbo, whose dream of playing Origin was sparked by the sight of the legendary Inglis terrorising the Blues in Maroon.

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Selwyn Cobbo was superb for the Broncos on Friday night. Picture: NRL Imagery
Selwyn Cobbo was superb for the Broncos on Friday night. Picture: NRL Imagery

“Billy just said keep doing what I am doing,” said Cobbo, confirming he had spoken to Slater, who will pick his Maroons side in two weeks for Origin I on June 8.

“I’m not sure about that (being picked for Queensland), but one day I would love to get to play Origin.

“If that time comes I will be ready for that. At the moment, I’m worried about my next game for the Broncos. I’m not really worried about Origin.”

Cobbo has never met Inglis but the Broncos flyer would love to follow in the footsteps of the Indigenous icon who is State of Origin’s greatest tryscorer with 18 from 32 appearances for the Maroons.

“I loved watching Greg Inglis play,” said Cobbo, who turns 20 three days before Origin I.

“He is my favourite. I just loved everything he did on the field.

“He is my idol.”

Cobbo is fast emerging as a poster boy for a new generation of fans with his electric performances on the right wing for the Broncos.

The 100kg winger has seven tries from 10 games this season and showed his composure by overcoming some off-field turbulence to post the first hat-trick of his embryonic NRL career.

On Monday, Cobbo was absent from Broncos training after attending court on driving offences. He was disqualified from driving for six months and fined $700 with no conviction recorded.

The Broncos backline discovery later apologised to the playing group for his indiscretion and said he wanted to repay Brisbane teammates with a bumper display against the Sea Eagles.

“It wasn’t too tough,” he said of the court drama. “I just moved on, turned up to training and I tried to worry about playing well.

“I guess I sort of did owe them, I put in for the boys and made sure I did my job to help the team.

“I haven’t scored many hat-tricks in my career, that was my first hat-trick for a while.

“For me, every game is another game and to play in front of the fans is pretty fun. I love it out there. I always have a smile on my face, I just love playing in front of crowds.”

Broncos coach Kevin Walters and Brisbane wing great Wendell Sailor believe Cobbo is ready for Origin and Queensland utility Kurt Capewell agrees.

“He can definitely handle Origin,” Capewell said.

“You have seen his carries coming out of our own half.

“He is a tough kid, he puts his hand up to do the hard work then he comes up with some big plays.

“I would dare say he is definitely in contention.”

Broncos captain Adam Reynolds, who set up two of Cobbo’s three tries with precision kicks, lauded the teenager’s raw ability.

“He is certainly a talent,” he said.

“I just love seeing him smile out there.

“He is a kid out there trying his hardest and doing the tough stuff not everyone sees.

“I don’t want to compare him to Greg Inglis because he is not Greg, he is Selwyn Cobbo and his development will only get better.

“He is eager to learn and when you are hungry like that, you will go places.”

ALFIE 2.0: REYNOLDS LEADS BRONCOS TO FIVE-YEAR BEST

Super Selwyn Cobbo bolted into the Queensland Origin frame with a sublime hat-trick as the teenager and classy halfback Adam Reynolds delivered a one-two punch in Brisbane’s 38-0 massacre of Manly at Suncorp Stadium.

A glorious fusion of old and new ignited Brisbane’s ‘Kev-olution’ with the baby-faced Cobbo and wily veteran Reynolds turning into Magic Round marvels to propel the Broncos to their fourth consecutive victory.

It is Brisbane’s best winning streak in five years and the woes of their wooden-spoon debacle in 2020 has been emphatically swept away by a Kevin Walters-coached team that now oozes finals material.

Adam Reynolds celebrates his stunning solo try against the Sea Eagles. Picture: NRL Imagery
Adam Reynolds celebrates his stunning solo try against the Sea Eagles. Picture: NRL Imagery

If last week’s 32-12 rout of the Rabbitohs was their best win in two years, this six-tries-to-nil drubbing was even better.

The Broncos have now beaten two top-four teams from last season, Souths and Manly, in consecutive weeks in their provisional charge to sixth spot and if they keep playing with this crackle and energy, they are top-eight certainties.

With Reynolds pulling the strings and Cobbo profiting from his service, Brisbane charged to a 14-0 halftime lead and suffocated the sloppy Sea Eagles after the break to announce the Broncos as a renewed finals force.

“It’s up there with our best wins, the nil part was pleasing,” Walters said. “That was our best start to a game.”

THE NEW ALFIE

For 20 years, the Broncos have been searching for their next Allan Langer. In Reynolds, they have finally found Alfie 2.0.

Brisbane’s $2.4 million recruit is ageing like a fine Shiraz. He sliced-and-diced the Sea Eagles with two precision kicks for a brace of Cobbo’s three tries and, in between, he chipped-and-regathered to crash over himself three minutes from halftime.

It was a play ripped straight from the playbook of Brisbane’s greatest halfback Langer. Reynolds’ bag of kicking tricks is terrorising rivals.

“My job has been easy,” Reynolds said. “There is a talented group here, they just needed some guidance.”

Corey Oates of the Broncos is tackled during the round 10 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images
Corey Oates of the Broncos is tackled during the round 10 NRL match between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Brisbane Broncos. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

SENSATIONAL SELWYN

He may be just 19 years old, but the cocksure Cobbo has the ice-cool temperament to handle a State of Origin debut.

The special ones all rise with each incremental test and after just 17 NRL games, Cobbo has shown he is special. The real magic came in the 49th minute when Cobbo intercepted a Manly pass and raced 95 metres to plunge the dagger.

Cobbo was well supported by wing cohort Corey Oates, who was superb with two tries and 232 metres. Between them, they amassed a whopping 407 metres.

“He can certainly handle Origin,” Walters said of Cobbo. “When I think of great Broncos teams, we’ve had great wingers. It’s great to see Selwyn and Corey playing so well.”

PAT IS ALL THAT

Broncos lock Pat Carrigan submitted an irresistible claim for a Queensland Origin debut with a typically tireless display.

With Queensland coach Billy Slater watching on, Carrigan set the standard from the outset, tearing into Manly in attack and driving Brisbane’s line speed in defence.

The Broncos ironman has all the tools to thrive in the Origin arena.

SPEED KILLS

While Reynolds rightly got the bells and whistles, Brisbane’s defensive transformation is underpinning their revival.

In the past few weeks, the Broncos have kept top-eight teams Cronulla to seven points and Souths to 12. This time, they consigned Manly to a golden duck. Brisbane’s line speed reeks of a hungry team that is breaking teams with their spirit in defence.

Walters promised to unify the Broncos. Brisbane are a team again. The Red Hill revolution is gathering steam.

Originally published as NRL Magic Round 2022: Adam Reynolds shines as Brisbane Broncos defeat Manly Sea Eagles

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