Pat Carrigan in career-best form for resurgent Broncos

Joel Gould |

Brisbane lock and stand-in captain Patrick Carrigan (with ball) helps dismantle Canberra 34-10.
Brisbane lock and stand-in captain Patrick Carrigan (with ball) helps dismantle Canberra 34-10.

Brisbane are set to finish round seven inside the NRL top-eight for the first time this season with coach Kevin Walters saying a major reason is because lock Pat Carrigan is in the best form of his career.

The 26-year-old representative forward has been captain the last two games in the absence of injured skipper Adam Reynolds, and his leadership has been top notch.

The understrength Broncos, last year’s grand finalists, have now won consecutive matches for the first time this year under his leadership.

“Pat is amazing,”  Walters said after the 34-10 win over Canberra on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium.

“I think he is playing his best football  He is leading the team how the good leaders do lead. That’s not with words, but with actions.

“We spelled him early tonight to get him ready for next week because he has earned that right. 

“We had to drag him because he never wants to come off.”

Carrigan has been enormous for the Broncos all season but in the last two matches as skipper he has run for more than 200m. He made 46 tackles in the 28-14 win over the Dolphins last week and topped the count again with 37 against the Raiders.

It is not just the numbers that have impressed but the way he has rallied in the big moments. 

His fearsome charges and willingness to put his body on the line inspire teammates.

Carrigan has been without fellow Australian teammate and prop Payne Haas (knee) since round two but has held the Broncos’ ship together.

Haas is a strong chance to play against Wests Tigers in Campbelltown on Saturday night, but if he doesn’t, the club can count on Carrigan to be more vigilant than ever.

Carrigan insisted the best was still ahead for him as well.

“I feel like I still have a lot to give and work on personally and I really enjoy working with Kevvie and our staff,” he said.

“Week to week we are getting new things to keep working on.”

Carrigan said he was impressed with fellow starting props Corey Jensen and Fletcher Baker against the Raiders, who was recruited from the Sydney Roosters in the off season.

Baker was instrumental in saving tries against the Raiders and snaffled a bomb to set up a try in the first half for Jordan Riki. 

“People underestimate how hard it is to come from the Roosters and play at the Broncos,” Carrigan said.

“We are all putting in for each other.”