Pangai Jnr reveals reason for short-term Broncos deal
BRISBANE enforcer Tevita Pangai says he only visited NRL rivals Newcastle out of curiosity after backing new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and re-signing for another season.
Tonga international Pangai grew up in Newcastle and raised eyebrows when he toured the Knights' facilities earlier this year as he contemplated his future.
While Pangai admitted he was tempted, the damaging forward reckoned he was always going to remain at Red Hill despite Wayne Bennett's sacking.
Pangai was the last off-contract star to commit to Brisbane after winger Corey Oates (one-year deal) and prop Matt Lodge (two years) re-signed this week.
"Yeah there was (temptation to leave Brisbane). But I just wanted to see. It was just a curiosity thing, see what their set-ups are like," Pangai said of his Knights visit.
"But when all that stuff (Bennett sacking) went down (Brisbane CEO) Paul White assured me that they would get the right coach.
"And now Anthony Seibold is our man and I feel he is going to help my game a lot."
Former Souths mentor Seibold took over the Broncos reins this week after an ongoing coach swap saga ended with Bennett's inglorious exit.
Despite the Knights' interest, Pangai was also considered a risk of following Bennett who now holds the South Sydney reins.
But Pangai said he signed a 2019 contract in order to get on top of niggling hamstring injuries that plagued him this season and earn a long term Broncos deal under Seibold.
"I felt I couldn't play consistently (with injuries). I have worked hard on my hamstrings in the off-season. Now I just want to back myself for another 12 months," he said.
"A lot of people thought I had a breakout year but I wasn't too happy and I know I can improve on last season.
"My form at the back of the year wasn't too shabby so I just want to make sure I am peaking at the right time of the year."
Pangai may have no choice but to step up in 2019.
The hulking forward is in line for the Broncos No.13 jersey after Kangaroos lock Josh McGuire left for North Queensland.
"Everyone is going to have to work harder," Pangai said of McGuire's departure.
"There are 40 tackles and 20 hit-ups I'm going to have to make so there is going to be a lot of work to do in the middle.
"We are going to have to up our aggression with him gone."