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Co-captain Croft inspired by legacy of Broncos greats

A humbled Brodie Croft has described how the honour of being named co-captain of the Broncos inspired him to lead from the front in his first premiership game for the club.

In the 28-21 round one win over the Cowboys, the 22-year-old was the first Bronco in 32 years to have the 'c' beside his name in his first grade debut for the club, with Immortal Wally Lewis the last in Brisbane's inaugural match in 1988 against Manly.

As a youth Croft had idolised Broncos legends that led the side in the past and was determined to do his job and not let their legacy down.

Croft certainly did that with his kicking, running and passing game on song as he played a key role in setting up Kotoni Staggs' try in the first half with a slick ball and another try after half-time for Tevita Pangai Jnr with a perfectly weighted cross-field kick.

"I reflected on it a bit coming into the game, but then I tried not to think about it too much because I know how big of an honour it is," Croft said of being given the co-captaincy.

"You think about the guys that have captained in the past – your Alfie Langers and Darren Lockyers – that have done so much.

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"I wouldn’t want to be talking about [being] that calibre yet because I am nowhere near that sort of player.

"They are the sort of people I have looked up to as a child coming from Queensland myself.

"I just wanted to do my job the best I could for the team. As a halfback I want to run this team around the field and keep doing what I have been doing at training."

Croft was surrounded by legends of the game at Melbourne where he was a junior partner for several years to the likes of Billy Slater, Cameron Smith and Cameron Munster.

Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold elevated him straight into the leadership group on joining the club and backed him with the co-captaincy alongside Pat Carrigan because of his belief the responsibility would bring out the best in him.

"It was pretty humbling to be told I was to be co-captain of the Brisbane Broncos," Croft said.

"Seibs rang me up earlier in the week and mentioned that me and Patty would be the co-captains, and I couldn’t believe it.

"I was talking to mum and dad on the phone about it and thinking that if you told me 12 months ago that I would be co-captain of the Brisbane Broncos I probably would have laughed it off.

"It will be a great game to look back on."

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Croft said it was "a surreal feeling" to lead Brisbane to a win on the historic occasion in Townsville at the opening of Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

His partnership with Pangai, Staggs and Jesse Arthars on the right side looms as a weapon for Brisbane but one thing Croft learned at the Storm is that early season games are won on the back of grind and graft rather than flair.

"These sort of games early on in the year is a lot about completions and winning field position," Croft said.

"I thought it was a real arm wrestle. The Cowboys fought hard. We fought hard. I knew there were going to be limited opportunities and didn’t want to overplay my hand.

"It  was just about letting the big boys do their job and I if I see opportunities, try and take them.

"Also, it is about looking for opportunities outside me. I have got some freak players outside me and as halfback in the team you want to get them the ball."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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