Corey Parker during the Brisbane Broncos training session in Brisbane on Monday.
Corey Parker during the Brisbane Broncos training session in Brisbane on Monday. DAVE HUNT

Cowboys and Broncos ready to put Origin mateship aside

RUGBY LEAGUE: Retiring Broncos captain Corey Parker believes it is the spirit and passion that exists among players from Brisbane and North Queensland that makes clashes between the clubs so special.

Brisbane will try its luck at the NRL judiciary in an attempt to have centre James Roberts cleared of a contrary conduct charge (kicking) so he can play in one of the games of the season in Townsville.

It's understood the Broncos will argue Roberts was trying to execute a quick play the ball and used his foot to try to clear Titan Ryan Simpkins, who was lying in the ruck.

If the man nicknamed Jet is grounded, then young centre Tom Opacic could come back into the side.

Brisbane and North Queensland have one of the NRL's best rivalries of the past decade and it continues on Friday night.

The sides played out one of the greatest grand finals of all time last October when the Cowboys won on the back of Johnathan Thurston's extra-time field goal.

Brisbane exacted some revenge in round four this season with a one-point win of its own in an another amazing clash that finished 21-20, before the Cowboys got up 19-18 in round 11.

Twelve of the 26 starters for the Broncos and Cowboys last weekend were involved in the Queensland Origin squad a few months ago, and while they are close mates with many of them having been part of the Maroons' magical Origin decade, they are fiercely competitive when they line up on each other.

"The spirit and passion that these two teams play with is what makes these games special,” said Parker, whose fairytale premiership farewell is still alive after Brisbane beat the Gold Coast in the first round of the finals.

"I think we play a similar style of footy.

"If you look at the last three games in particular to be decided by just one point you have to assume Friday night's going to be something similar with a lot at stake seeing it is the end of the road for the loser.”

Parker admitted the fact there were so many players from Queensland's Origin side in the clash provided something extra for the players.

"You have to remember these are two high-quality football teams and there would have to be at least 10 Origin players involved and a lot of fringe Origin players as well,” he said.

"I just think the passion and spirit of the game we've seen, particularly in our last three clashes, it's become one of those games for rugby league fans when they say 'gee you have to watch this one'.

"The guys you're referring to are superstars of the game and that brings the best out of everyone.”



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