Gagai's a gun but has he shot bolt?

Dane Gagai
Dane Gagai Bradley Kanaris - Getty Images

HINDSIGHT is a wonderful thing, but after Jharal Yow Yeh suffered his horrific injury in Perth in round four and the Broncos drafted Dale Copley in to the side rather than Dane Gagai, I thought the decision was odd.

Not that young Copley wasn't an NRL quality player, but Gagai is an absolute gun who is faster, taller and more athletic than Copley. He seemed the perfect fit, but at the time Broncos coach Anthony Griffin told me Copley was in better form, and I believed him.

But it seems Gagai had been a naughty boy - again.

Two seasons ago the brilliant youngster was almost shown the door by the Broncos, but received an 11th hour reprieve.

And as much as all Broncos fans would love to see the rookie stay in the system, there will be no absolution this time. He may not have transgressed once to the extent were an immediate sacking was considered obligatory, but his constant lack of off-field discipline simply became intolerable.

Some learn from their mistakes, and become better people and players because of the experience. Blues State of Origin skipper Paul Gallen is a perfect example. A few years ago his reputation was tattered and now he can't keep up with the demand for his 'good guy' services.

And in 2009 Roosters hooker Jake Friend was looking at a return to the Noosa Pirates following a spate of off-field misdemeanors that looked set to end his career.

But discipline became Friend's friend and he is being talked about as possible State of Origin material.

Some though, just don't learn. One of the most talented young blokes to join the Broncos - Brett Seymour - was booted out of the Broncos and Sharks and then left the Warriors in disgrace after yet another off-field episode.

And news came through from England over the weekend that Anthony Watts, released by the Roosters last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, has been sacked by English second division club Widnes. A talented and gutsy player, his career is as good as over.

Hopefully the troubled Panther, Michael Jennings, is not currently sailing in that same boat.

As much as clubs want these talented players to stay, patience simply wears thin.

In the case of Gagai, for instance, a Broncos club official took him in to his home and laid down certain simple domestic guidelines, but even under that spotlight he transgressed.

At 21 and oozing talent, Gagai won't have a problem finding a new club. But as Reds coach Ewan McKenzie suggested, if a strong organisation like the Broncos can't discipline Gagai, maybe he's beyond help.



D Williams 2, J Lyon, S Matai tries; J Lyon 4 goals.

M Gillett 2, J Reed, G Beale, A Glenn tries; C Norman goal.
At Suncorp Stadium.

S Prince, M Srama, J Idris, M Minichiello tries; A Sezer 3, S Prince 2 goals, A Sezer field goal.

B Barba 2, J Morris tries; B Goodwin goal.
At Suncorp Stadium.

K Hurrell 2, S Johnson 2, M Vatuvei tries; J Maloney 5 goals.

J Leilua, A Guerra, T Moga, J Waerea-Hargreaves, A Minichiello tries; B Anasta 3 goals.
At Mt Smart Stadium.

A Graham 2, R Thompson, M Morgan, G Cooper tries; J Thurston 6 goals.

J Sa'u, C Houston tries; T Roberts 2 goals.
At Hunter Stadium.

R Robinson 2, J Thompson 2, B Ferguson, J Wighton, J Papalii tries; J Croker 6 goals.

R Morgan 2, K Sio 2, C Blair, C Sandow tries; L Burt 5 goals.
At Canberra Stadium.

I Gordon, J Smith tries; T Carney 2 goals.

M Duffie, D Nielsen tries; C Smith goal.
At Toyota Stadium.

Topics:  dane gagai nrl

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