In a further blow to the Broncos’ future prospects, following the recent departures of Corey Allan and Marion Seve, Fox Sports are reporting that the St George Dragons have signed talented centre/wing option Jonus Pearson, for the 2019 season.
The big winger who predominantly plied his trade for the Redcliffe Dolphins in the Intrust Super Cup in the past few seasons, had an impressive 2018 season, averaging 111 run metres, 1 line break and only 1 missed tackle per game.
With his per game production this season, exceeding that of fellow Broncos contracted outside backs Kontoni Staggs, Jamayne Isaako, Darius Boyd, Moses Pangai. James Roberts, Jordan Kahu, and Jack Bird, but only limited first team opportunities forthcoming at the Broncos, it is understandable Pearson has elected to pursue first grade opportunities elsewhere.
It is unclear how long his contract is with the Dragons, but Paul McGregor has acquired a very talented young player capable of playing on either the wing or centre positions.
Pearson’s departure is another disappointing moment for Bennett and the Broncos’ recruitment and retention team. In recent seasons, Bennett has overseen the departure of highly productive Queensland born players Ben Barba, Tautau Moga, Ashley Taylor, Matt Parcell, Jake Granville, Jarrod Wallace, Jai Arrow, Herman Ese Ese, Corey Allan, and Marion Seve.
Obviously salary cap restraints mean the Broncos can’t retain all players. That said, the unproductive on field performances this season from the likes of Jordan Kahu, James Roberts, Tom Opacic, Jack Bird, Andrew McCullough, Sam Thaiday, Matt Gillett, Alex Glenn, and Korbin Sims, coupled with the recent pursuit of interstate born players Korbin Sims, Matt Lodge, James Roberts, Pangai Jnr and Troy Dargan, are concerning trends.
As a member of the club since its foundation, I fear these recent trends (i.e. not giving opportunities to promising youngsters, when their on field production is superior to that of the club’s more experienced and tenured players, and not prioritising the recruitment and retention of highly productive Queensland born players) is indicative of a coach and club breaking with the traditions which made the Broncos great.