Broncos director Darren Lockyer has lifted the lid on a moment where Reece Walsh’s “frustration” at representative centre Kotoni Staggs boiled over in front of the cameras during the side’s 43-26 win over the Titans.
Walsh gave Staggs a dressing down after a passing movement broke down as the star-studded backline struggled for fluency in the first half of a match that turned into a romp after half-time.
Lockyer said that rather than the on-field spray being something for the Broncos to worry about, it was “a good sign” that Walsh and his teammates were striving for excellence.
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“It was a sign of frustration,” Lockyer told Wide World of Sports’ QLDER.
“(Brisbane) had lost last week and there was a lot of talk about that loss to the Raiders.
“They go [to Robina Stadium], they’re behind on the scoreboard against the Titans and it was just an innocent mistake from Kotoni getting a move wrong.
“It’s a different story if someone is giving away penalties, it’s poor discipline and it’s costing your team – you come in and give them a spray.
“It’s one of those things in the heat of the moment. It means a lot to Reece and a lot to Kotoni as well, winning the game and getting the two points.
“There’s probably a bit of banter at training this week about it, I’ve got no doubt.”
Asked if the outburst was a sign that third-year player Walsh had the confidence to stamp his authority on his teammates, Lockyer said the act showed his competitiveness.
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“It’s a good sign of what it means to him to execute and get things right because he wants to win, and I’m not saying Kotoni doesn’t, but (Walsh) wants to win and you can see that with the way he plays,” he said.
“He wants to attack teams and he wants to make things happen so I think he was just frustrated more than anything.”
Ultimately Walsh’s frustration turned quickly as a river of tries started flowing in the second half, yet Lockyer said talking to a teammate like he did to Staggs could be a slippery slope.
The former Broncos captain added that squabbling on the field is not always helpful.
“I don’t always love seeing teammates, well they didn’t argue, but it can be disruptive to a team if you see that because you’re showing your frustration’s getting to you and that’s going to work in the favour of the opposition,” he said.
“But (the Broncos) were able to overcome that.”
Rugby league Immortal Wally Lewis rubber-stamped giving your teammate a spray.
“It can be negative to some players depending on how they accept it, but for a lot of the players of first-grade standard, I think they can cop it,” he said.
“They’ll take it pretty comfortably.
“First-grade footballers, they’re all going to get one throughout their life. There’s no doubt about that at all.
“It tends to work … but should only be used when they are absolutely necessary.”
“Normally it’s the older, more senior players giving them though,” Lockyer added.
”I don’t think it would ever be used against a player who was chalking up his fifth or sixth first-grade game, or around about the 10 mark, you have a lot of respect for the guys there and are very concerned about damaging their confidence,” Lewis concluded.
“I think (Walsh and Staggs) have worked together long enough and spent enough time working alongside each other in training and games to know when it is needed and when it can be accepted.”
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