‘I’ll repay club for brain snap’: Riki back for Broncos

Joel Gould |

Brisbane forward Jordan Riki is back from suspension and ready to rock against St George Illawarra.
Brisbane forward Jordan Riki is back from suspension and ready to rock against St George Illawarra.

A repentant Jordan Riki is back in Brisbane colours after suspension and determined to reverse the side’s five-game losing streak against St George Illawarra.

The Broncos will be without State of Origin stars Payne Haas, Patrick Carrigan, Reece Walsh and Selwyn Cobbo for Saturday night’s clash at Suncorp Stadium, so Riki’s return from a two-week absence could not have come at a better time.

The Broncos are in 11th spot on the NRL ladder with 18 points and are in danger of slipping out of finals contention if they don’t start winning.

Riki was banned after an off-the-ball hit on South Sydney skipper Cameron Murray in the 22-12 round-15 loss.

“It was just a silly mistake with what I did against Cameron Murray. It was just a bit of a brain snap, and sitting out those couple of weeks really hurt myself and I felt I let the club and the fans down,” Riki said.

“I definitely want to repay them and come back firing and bring energy like I can.”

The Broncos, due to injury and Origin duty, have just 18 players of their top 30 available for the clash against the Dragons. And it could become just 17.

Playmaker Josh Rogers is now one of the top 30 after being elevated from the development list. 

Four of those 18 are hookers. Billy Walters and Tyson Smoothy are set to be named for the Dragons clash. Rakes Cory Paix and Blake Mozer are also on the books, but the Broncos can’t play them all on Saturday night for the sake of team balance.

Paix played for Wynnum-Manly in the Queensland Cup on the weekend and injured a foot. He went for scans on Monday.

That is why unknown prop Va’a Semu, on the club’s development list, is a chance to be named on the bench. 

Semu didn’t train with the Broncos on Monday because he had played on Sunday for Souths-Logan in the Queensland Cup.

Riki said Semu would do the job if selected. 

“He is exciting. He is a big boy and pretty similar to Xavier Willison … big, fast and strong,” Riki said.

“He carries the ball strong. He doesn’t say much but gets on with his job and works hard for the boys. I would be really excited for him to put the Broncos jersey on.”

Riki also backed Rogers, if named in the halves, to do the job, with other playmakers Adam Reynolds, Jock Madden and Coby Black on the injured list.

“I love Josh Rogers. He is a big body who can throw his body as well,” Riki said.

“I don’t know if you saw the Parramatta game, but he did an exceptional job (in a 30-14 win in round 10).

“It is hugely unlucky and terrible that Jock (Madden) had that hamstring injury, but here at the club we have a next-man-up mentality.

“I know Josh could step into that role and do a great job.”