- Tristan Sailor puts on a brilliant performance
- Prove he is a class above reserve grade
- Set up three tries and scored another
Tristan Sailor has given Brisbane coach Kevin Walters an NRL selection headache after a scintillating performance at fullback to ignite a comeback 26-16 trial victory over Wynnum-Manly.
The 25-year-old son of club legend Wendell Sailor bagged two tries and scored one himself at Wynnum’s Kougari Oval to confirm his talents as a creator and finisher.
In Saturday’s other trial match, challenging Dolphins center Tesi Niu bagged a hat-trick in a 58-6 demolition of CQ Capras in Rockhampton.
While Sailor may not play in the NRL season opener in Las Vegas against the Sydney Roosters, he is a genuine No.14 option for the Broncos.
Melbourne mentor Craig Bellamy deployed Ryan Papenhuyzen with high impact as a No.14 when he first came on the scene and Walters has that option up his sleeve with Sailor.
Tristan Sailor was outstanding for the Broncos against Wynnum-Manly on Saturday
His banana kick from the side of his foot to set up Ethan Quai for a try was pure class. Earlier, he set up Bailey Trew with a sublime long ball to showcase his skills as a true playmaker.
Sailor tore up the show with a blistering 40m volley to score late in the game.
‘Tristan was the difference between both teams. He’s a classy player,” Walters said.
“There are different ways you can bring him into the (NRL) squad. We talked to Tristan about it.
‘I think that utility role off the bench could be an option. Tristan covers a lot of positions. He can really play anywhere, he did himself a lot of favors today.’
Footy fans were also impressed by what they saw, taking to social media after the match.
“Too good today man, he’s a class above,” one X user wrote.
“Yup absolutely criminal he doesn’t play first grade,” replied another.
The Broncos trailed 16-8 with 10 minutes remaining against a brave Seagulls outfit.
It was then that Sailor and highly-rated 17-year-old halfback Coby Black made their mark on the game.
Swart put in a well-weighted grubber kick for a try when the Broncos were trailing and showed energy and composure.
Sailor set up two superb tries and scored one himself at Wynnum’s Kougari Oval
Wendell Sailor won four premierships with the Broncos, two State of Origin series with Queensland and a Rugby League World Cup with the Kangaroos
However, the story of the afternoon was Sailor who played four games for the Broncos last year when he was outstanding at full back filling in for Reece Walsh.
The former St George Illawarra player started the season with an emphatic message to his coach and another reminder of the rare talents he possesses.
In Rockhampton it was Niu, who lost eight kilograms in pre-season to help his mobility, who made an early statement in his quest for an outside back position.
‘Tesi was outstanding in that first half. He showed his class and that he puts his name before Wayne (Bennett) for selection,” said Nathan Fien, assistant coach of the Dolphins.
Fien said Niu’s defense was also a highlight while fellow center Valynce Te Whare and winger Jack Bostock also shone.
‘Jack and Tesi were very good. Even defensively they looked very strong on the line and comfortable together. They worked hard over the offseason with their defense,” Fien said.
‘Val got around 60 minutes and looked sharp when he had the pedestal. He still needs to work on his defense but I’m sure Wayne will be happy with what he did tonight.’