Broncos second-rower Sam Thaiday says emotions have been running high in recent weeks as his retirement is fast approaching with the competition concluding in just over a month.
The one-club player has served the Broncos for 302 NRL games to date, while representing his state of Queensland on 29 occasions and Australia on 34.
Thaiday will run out on Sunday afternoon not knowing whether or not this will be his last game at Suncorp Stadium. It will not be known until after the match where Brisbane will be playing in week one of the finals.
“I hope it’s not my last game at Suncorp Stadium, but I’ve definitely had some fantastic times there and have shared some great memories with the players and the fans there,” Thaiday said.
“I’m going through all of the emotions at the moment, and it doesn’t help it’s Fathers Day either.
“I’ll be running out on the field with my daughters so that’s going to be a very emotional time for me and I’ll also have a lot of family and friends in the crowd as well.
“It’s going to be a cracking day, Sunday afternoon footy in Brisbane there’s just something really special about it.”
In Saturday’s 22-8 win over the Roosters Brisbane were left a man short after a controversial tackle from Roosters prop Dylan Napa on Andrew McCullough resulted in the hooker being stretchered from the field in the 24th minute of the match.
McCullough is being sent of scans this week to determine whether he suffered any facial fractures and he’ll also monitored for concussion throughout the week, while Napa is facing a possible four-game ban.
Thaiday said if McCullough had his way there’d be no doubt as to whether he would play or not in Brisbane’s final round game again the Manly Sea Eagles.
“He’ll be back next week (round 25) – it will be hard to stop him from playing. He’ll do everything he can throughout the week to get through all the concussion tests he needs to, hopefully the scans come back fine and he’ll have the Broncos jersey on come Sunday when we take on Manly,” Thaiday said.
“He’s someone that’s definitely a leader out there in his actions.
“Defensively he’s great, he makes a lot of tackles for us, leads our line speed, does a lot of kick pressure and as an attacking player as well he’s fantastic as a dummy half.”
The Broncos’ win against the second-place Roosters has secured their spot in the finals, with Thaiday saying the team had picked the right time to start playing some good football.
“A little bit of a relief, we’d definitely like to be a little higher on the ladder though, but we’ve done that to ourselves,” Thaiday said.
“Someone said to me during the week ‘what’s the deal with the Broncos, they only play well when we play top-eight teams’, but that’s what you have to do when you play the finals.
“We’ve learnt a lot of lessons as a team – we’ve continued to grow throughout the year and we’ll continue to further over the next week and into the finals.
“We just have to continue to have fun while playing our brand of footy and we’re here to shake a few things up.”