Broncos turn to rookie half
BRISBANE halfback Sean O'Sullivan turns 21 on Wedneday but the only celebration he's focused on is the one that would follow a Broncos win over South Sydney in Friday's grudge match at Suncorp Stadium.
Broncos enforcer Matt Lodge backed O'Sullivan to fix Brisbane's attack after the young halfback was issued an SOS by coach Anthony Seibold amid the club's playmaking crisis.
O'Sullivan, who has been sidelined since straining a hamstring tendon in the Broncos' famous win over Cronulla in Round 16, is expected to be named in the No.7 jersey on Tuesday in place of the suspended Jake Turpin.
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The Broncos makeshift halfback, Turpin is out for two weeks for a dangerous contact charge while first-choice No.7 Tom Dearden was revealed to be ruled out for the rest of the season through injury.
The 20-year-old O'Sullivan has impressed in his two games back at Intrust Super Cup feeder club Norths Devils, scoring a try and setting up three others.
It shapes to be a big week for the youngster who celebrates his 21st birthday on Wednesday, but is said to be more concerned with Friday's battle with the Rabbitohs.
His brother-in-law Lodge said he was unaware of any celebrations planned and the focus was instead on this weekend.
"It's his 21st this week on Wednesday so it's a good week for him," Lodge said.
"He's a bit of a stiff so he'll be focused on the game and I don't think he'll want to do anything for it."
O'Sullivan trained in the halves at Red Hill and will partner skipper Darius Boyd in Friday's epic grudge match with the Rabbitohs.
Sitting seventh on the premiership ladder, the Broncos are clinging on for their finals lives and will need to continue their new-found winning form to avoid a finals blackout in Seibold's first season at Red Hill.
Brisbane forward Lodge said he was confident the young halfback could help lead the team's attack in their run to the finals.
"Hopefully he will ... fix some things up that he thinks he can with our attack," he said.
"He's grown up as a No.7 his whole life so he knows the game better than anyone in (this side), so he just needs to organise the boys and translate that onto the field.
"He knows the game like the back of his hand so hopefully he can lead us around the park and be loud and be that person we've been lacking.
"(This game) is just important for him. He's got two weeks to put his best foot forward going into the finals.
"He's been waiting a while for the opportunity and now he's got that ... he needs to take it and do the best he can."
Boyd also backed the youngster to fire against the Rabbitohs.
"Sean is a footballer and a halfback," Boyd said. "He knows the game plan. He's a good talker so he'll be fine.
"I don't think it will be (a big challenge for him). He's only played four first grade games but he knows how to run a team.
"(Jake) Turpin has done a great job and he hasn't played halfback before so I'm sure a halfback can do a pretty good job in his own position."