Alex Glenn and Broncos teammates celebrate one of his three tries. Picture: Chris Hyde /Getty
Alex Glenn and Broncos teammates celebrate one of his three tries. Picture: Chris Hyde /Getty

Hat-trick hero Glenn puts heat on backrow battle

Broncos veteran Alex Glenn submitted an irresistible case in the battle for back-row spots with a sizzling hat-trick in Brisbane's come-from-behind 25-22 trial defeat of the Titans.

The back row is one of Brisbane's most contentious positional areas this season with four top-liners - Glenn, Matt Gillett, David Fifita and Jaydn Su'A - battling for two starting berths.

Gillett almost certainly has one back-row spot sewn up after the Origin star made a successful return from a fractured neck at Cbus Super Stadium.

But Glenn has rocketed into the frame to start against Melbourne in the NRL season-opener on Thursday week after his treble of tries helped haul the Broncos out of trouble against a plucky Titans outfit.

 

 

Alex Glenn (second from L) celebrates a try with teammates. Picture: Getty
Alex Glenn (second from L) celebrates a try with teammates. Picture: Getty

 

The derby rivalry added an intense edge to the final trial of the pre-season and the Broncos were reeling when a Kevin Proctor double propelled the Titans to a shock 18-0 lead after 21 minutes.

But the Broncos held their nerve, overcoming an 18-6 halftime deficit with a more committed and composed second stanza headlined by Kodi Nikorima's halfback guile and Glenn's hat-trick magic.

Glenn posted tries in the 31st, 59th and 64th minutes, with Nikorima creating the back-rower's first and third four-pointers to set-up a pulsating finale at 18-all.

The Broncos then finished the job 12 minutes from time, winger Jamayne Isaako making a 50-metre bust to release Richie Kennar before snapping a last-minute field goal to put the Titans to bed.

It was a positive finish to a solid trial campaign under new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold, who said Glenn will be hard to ignore for their Storm showdown at AAMI Park.

 

New recruit Sean O'Sullivan set up one of Glenn’s tries to trigger the comeback. Picture: Getty
New recruit Sean O'Sullivan set up one of Glenn’s tries to trigger the comeback. Picture: Getty

 

"Alex was really good," Seibold said. "It wasn't just the tries he scored, defensively he has a lot of experience as well.

"With the pre-season he's had and that performance, he commands a spot on the left edge.

"He is a really good pro - he has set himself up for a good season."

Brisbane rolled out their big guns last night, including Darius Boyd, Corey Oates and Andrew McCullough, but it was Gillett's successful return from a fractured neck which gave the Broncos most relief.

Playing in a foreign role at lock, Gillett struggled to impose himself as a 'middle' but Seibold was just pleased to see Brisbane's No.1 back-rower back in action.

 

Jamayne Isaako looks set for another big season with the Broncos. Picture: Getty
Jamayne Isaako looks set for another big season with the Broncos. Picture: Getty

 

"It was fair old hit out for 'Gillo'," Seibold said.

"The big thing was him just coming back and getting the jersey on and competing.

"I will have a look and see where we play him in round one."

 

Gold Coast star Kevin Proctor celebrates a try. Picture: Getty
Gold Coast star Kevin Proctor celebrates a try. Picture: Getty

 

The million-dollar question for the Broncos this year is whether they have a dominant halfback to break a 13-year title drought. On this evidence, Kodi Nikorima is primed to take the next step.

The Kiwi Test star started slowly with some misdirected passes but his final 50 minutes - setting up two tries for Glenn - was a classy riposte.

"He got better as the game went on," Seibold said. "Defensively we didn't start well but there's a fair bit for us to take away from that win."



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