Courtesy of Bundaberg News-Mail - By Ben Turnbull
LOSING any game of rugby league hurts Bundaberg’s Lachlan Lanskey, but the 24-28 defeat he suffered while playing for Norths Devils against Gold Coast Green a year ago in the Mal Meninga Cup had an added sting to it.
While his teammates trudged off Bishop Park after the 80 minutes, Lanskey, 17, was icing a shoulder injury he initially feared had shattered his dream of playing for the Broncos, the club he signed with as a 13 year old.
Fast forward 14 months and after a shoulder reconstruction and some intense rehab, Lanskey will make his debut for the ladder-leading Broncos in the national Under-20 competition tonight against third-placed North Queensland Cowboys featuring another Bundaberg product, Easts Kyle Laybutt.
Lanskey signed with the Broncos until the end of 2016 and after thoughts his time as a football player had ended he was excited about the game in Townsville.
“I was hopeful to play for Queensland and Australia last year. It was something I dreamed of since I was 12,” Lanskey said.
“I didn’t want to come back half-hearted so I gave it 100% in my rehab.
“The Cowboys had been one of the best in the competition and this weekend should be a good game.”
Lanskey, who plays in the back row, was picked on the interchange bench and when he gets on the park his shoulder will be tested in defence but there is one player he will keep his eye in when he is running the ball.
The former-Brothers junior might not have played much against Laybutt, who is in his last year of U20s, but Lanskey said he knows how good Laybutt’s defence is and he added it will be great to be on the field as him tonight.
Laybutt could not be contacted and it was up to Lanskey to give the final word on the former Easts Magpies player.
“He is not the biggest bloke but he can tackle – he just has this presence on the field,” Lanskey said.
The young Broncos are at risk of back-to-back losses against a North Queensland outfit full of talent.
Brisbane won 30-26 in round three at Suncorp Stadium but the Cowboys have been in form since to sit just one point adrift of the leading pair of teams, Brisbane and Penrith.