In a huge boost to the Broncos’ 2019 premiership prospects, the club have announced the re-signing of outside back/forward Corey Oates (24) and forward Tevita Pangai Junior (22) on one year deals, forward Matt Lodge (23) on a two year deal and forward Patrick Carrigan (20) on a three year extension.
With the quartet making up 4 of the Broncos’ top 6 forwards in terms of on field productivity in the 2018 season, and Oates ranking as the most productive of all Broncos’ players from both the centre and winger, and forward positional groups, there retention was paramount.
2018 productivity data – forwards
2018 productivity data – centres and wingers
While it is great that the Broncos have been able to secure Carrigan until the end of 2022, given Lodge, Pangai Junior and Oates’ outstanding on field contribution last season, and Josh McGuire being released from the final 2 years of his contract to join the North Queensland Cowboys, it was hoped the Broncos would have been able to re-sign that trio on longer term deals. However, with consistently unproductive players such as Bird, Roberts, Kahu, Gillett and McCullough, utilising substantial salary cap space and tied to multi-year deals at the club, one year deals for Oates and Pangai Junior and a two year deal for Lodge was evidently all the Broncos could financially afford.
Those past poor recruitment and retention decisions by the Broncos, could make it similarly difficult for the club to re-sign Oates and Pangai Junior long term at the end of their 2019 contracts. Nevertheless, the retention of all 4 players is great news for the Broncos’ 2019 premiership prospects.