The Courier-Mail

Parker can now bask in the Corey

- PETER BADEL

BRISBANE coach Wayne Bennett has handed Corey Parker the ultimate accolade, rating the Broncos lock one of the finest forward specimens he has seen in the past 50 years.

The master coach is not a man to issue unwarrante­d public kudos, but Bennett felt duty-bound to laud Parker after his latest ironman effort in Brisbane’s 24-12 defeat of the Raiders.

Backing up three days after Origin I, and filling in as skipper for Maroons veteran Justin Hodges, Parker produced a defensive play that typifies Brisbane’s hunger without the ball.

The Maroons warhorse amassed 113m from 12 hit-ups, but it was his remarkable oneon-one trysaver on a rampaging Shaun Fensom that left Bennett awe-struck.

Fensom looked certain to score when he charged on to a pass 5m from the Broncos’ tryline. At full steam, he only had Parker to beat, but the Brisbane skipper rocked Fensom with a front-on shot that stopped him in his tracks.

Bennett, who has played and coached at the highest levels for the past five decades, admits few forwards have the constituti­on that has enabled Parker to play 310 NRL games.

“The star for me was Corey Parker,” Bennett said in the wake of the win that maintained Brisbane’s share of the premiershi­p lead.

“He works as hard as anybody in the game ... he is simply a remarkable athlete. It was a great tackle (on Fensom).

“That was a great play, noone was going to help him in that situation, he just had to make that tackle, it was great.”

Test forward Parker, 33, needs another 46 games to surpass Broncos great Darren Lockyer (355 matches) as the most-capped player in the NRL’s 107-year history.

 ??  ?? WARRIOR: Corey Parker.
WARRIOR: Corey Parker.

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