Selwyn Cobbo has been backed to make an impact at State of Origin level by Queensland great Gorden Tallis, after the teenage winger delivered another dazzling performance for the Broncos.
The 19-year-old used a hat trick, racking up 183 yards and two tackle busts as Brisbane demolished Manly 38-0 in the Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to claim a fourth straight win.
Cobbo has scored seven tries in 10 NRL games this season and Tallis believes he ‘wouldn’t look out of place’ if picked to play for the Maroons in the State of Origin at the Accor Stadium in Sydney on June 8.
Selwyn Cobbo delivered an outstanding performance as the Broncos beat Manly 38-0
“I love his tough runs, he’s still learning the game and it’s a tough arena but he wouldn’t look out of place [at Origin level] if [Queensland coach] Billy Slater is going in that direction,’ Tallis, who played 23 times for Queensland, told Fox League after the game.
“Week after week he is getting better.”
Cobbo’s height and clinical finishing have prompted comparisons to former Melbourne and Maroon greats, Greg Inglis and Tallis suggested there were definitely similarities between the two.
“He has a bit of Greg Inglis in him. They are great, they are great athletes,” he said.
Cobbo scored the first hat-trick of his career as Brisbane won their fourth game in a row
The teenager’s third try was a brilliant 95-yard cavalcade after intercepting a pass
Cobbo has now scored seven tries in 10 games in the NRL this season which is in contention for Origin
Inglis made his Origin debut in Game 1 of the 2006 series and announced his debut in style with two tries in a 17-16 loss to Sydney.
Queensland eventually won the series 2-1, their first triumph in four years and the start of a formidable run that saw the Maroons win 11 of the next 12 years, including a record eight in a row.
On the other hand, New South Wales have won three of the last four series, which makes Slater a little more reluctant to bring in beginners, however talented they may be.
“When Inglis came on they were a great team from Queensland so it was easier to bring in young guys,” added Tallis.
Queensland great Gorden Tallis backed Cobbo to make an impact at origin level
“It’s very hard to bleed a guy out in Origin because it’s such a tough arena.”
Broncos coach Kevin Walters, however, poured cold water on the comparisons.
“The bigger the occasion, the more Selwyn can rise to the occasion,” he said after the game.
‘It’s definitely a talent. He’s doing his best, he’s enjoying his time there [but] I don’t want him to compare himself to Greg Inglis, because he’s Selwyn Cobbo.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters wasn’t interested in comparing Cobbo to Greg Inglis
Adam Reynolds set up Cobbo’s first two tries with two accurate kicks, before the 19-year-old ran 95 yards after intercepting a pass to complete his hat trick.
Speaking during the game, Fox League analyst Michael Ennis was also impressed with Cobbo, who is under contract with the Broncos until the end of next season and has attracted interest from no less of eight NRL clubs.
‘Selwyn Cobbo what an athlete. What a player. They can’t let him go to the Broncos,’ said Ennis, who suggested there was a ‘potential maroon jersey coming’ in the teenager’s way.
But Tallis said Cobbo reminded him of the former Melbourne Storm and Queensland great
Cooper Cronk took a similar tone, noting that the 19-year-old already displayed key aspects of an Origin-caliber player.
“The best part of Cobbo’s game in this early part of his career is his running backs and his physicality,” he said.
“It is a representative type of football.
When asked if he feels ready to play at the Origin level, Cobbo told Nine, “I’m pretty ready if I get that call.” I would like to represent my state. […] It would mean the world to me to play for my state. It would be so exciting for me.
Speaking earlier this week, Slater hinted that Cobbo could feature in his Origin team.
And Queensland manager Billy Slater (right) has hinted the teenager could feature in his State of Origin squad when the Maroons open the series at the Accor Stadium on June 8.
“I was so impressed with Selwyn Cobbo,” said the Maroons manager, who was a year older than Cobbo when he made his Origin debut.
“I’ll make a decision on Selwyn in a few weeks, but to me your age is your age and you only get experience in Origin by experiencing the actual game.
“If we think Selwyn is the best person to fill a position in our team, we will choose him, but if other people are better qualified, we will support them.”
“But age is not a problem for me. It’s not an obstacle for me.