Bronco Glenn cleared for Cowboys clash
THE Broncos have received a boost with in-form back-rower Alex Glenn cleared of injury for tomorrow night's Queensland blockbuster against the Cowboys in Townsville.
Glenn failed to appear at today's captain's run, sparking fears the Broncos could be down another key forward after losing Andrew McCullough (knee) and Korbin Sims (arm) in the past month.
But Broncos coach Wayne Bennett says the former Kiwi Test forward will take his place in the starting side against a Cowboys side primed for a final-round scrap to save their season.
Glenn will be joined by Sam Thaiday, who will start in place of Sims at prop, while Bennett confirmed Ben Hunt is ready for a more prominent role at hooker and will play as many minutes as possible.
"Alex has a swollen gland but he will be all right tomorrow. He will play," Bennett said.
"Ben has had three or four weeks getting used to it (the hooking role) so he is ready to go now.
"I'm not expecting him to play 80 minutes, if he can, great, if he can't, we have enough coverage there.
"We know Sam (Thaiday) can do the job and Benji (Marshall) is on the bench. Kodi (Nikorima) can go to hooker, so there's plenty of options."
The Broncos called in defensive specialist Peter Ryan in the wake of their 52-34 drubbing by the Eels last week, but Bennett insists he is not hitting the panic button.
"To be honest, Peter Ryan was talking about coming for the last couple of weeks," he said.
"He sent me a text saying I will be at training tomorrow and that was it. You guys had a ball with it, but that's OK, it took a lot of issues away, which was good.
"He worked here as a defensive coach, that's where he started, he's been with the Cowboys and the Brumbies and he is good at what he does. We have good structures here. we're not behind in those areas. We just had a bad day.
"The team hasn't been built on one defensive effort, good, bad or indifferent. Up until that game last week, we were second in the competition on the defensive ladder.
"We do it pretty well most weeks, we just had a bad day.
"It's in the past now, we've moved on."
Bennett is wary of Brisbane's 2015 grand-final nemesis the Cowboys, who have managed to remain in the finals hunt despite the loss of Origin big guns Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Justin O'Neill.
"They are a competent footy team," he said. "The good clubs don't rely on one player, they had plenty of time to get it right. If it (injury crisis) was happening five weeks ago, they wouldn't have been an event for them, but they had time to play without Johnathan and Scott.
"They have had a good season, but for us it's nice to go up there and not have everything hanging on the last game.
"At least we go up there knowing we are in the finals, we are assured a position, we are not under that pressure."