By his own admission, Tyson Gamble never stops talking. That’s how he ended up starting for the Broncos in the first place, and that’s how he ended up thriving as Brisbane’s halfback when others have struggled this season.
The 24-year-old has been nothing if not patient in his quest for regular NRL time. Four seasons as a full-time player have yielded as many appearances in the top grade, with the rest spent in Queensland’s Intrust Super Cup.
Fourth time lucky … Broncos halfback Tyson GambleCredit:Getty
“He has a loud voice and is clear in his directions and that’s what we’ve been lacking the last couple of weeks. He had some nice touches, good kicks and defensively did a great job on David Fifita.”
Gamble is a big body for a halfback. He stands 189 centimetres tall and tips the scales at 95 kilograms, and that bulk may go some way to solving Brisbane’s defensive issues on the edge. But it was the trickle-down effect on Anthony Milford that may be the real bonus, with Milford able to detach himself from organising duties and play with some more freedom through the back line.
Like many mature-age players, Gamble had moments where he wondered if the hard slog on the NRL’s minimum wage was worth the sacrifice. He made it to the third year of an electrician’s apprenticeship while he campaigned in the lower grades and the post-game interviews he completed on Friday were some of the first he’s done in front of a television camera.
He always backed his talents and is known as a ferocious trainer with a relentless work ethic. Now he’s had a taste of what is a rare win for the Broncos, he wants to keep the jersey for the rest of the season and perhaps beyond.
“If I keep playing like that there is no reason I can’t stay,” Gamble said. “But at the end of the day, it’s up to the club. I’m just happy to play footy and let the rest sort itself out at the end of the year.
“I think it’s my fourth year full-time [NRL squad], my fourth [NRL] game and that’s my first win. It’s just persistence. I felt like I could perform at this level and to play like that tonight is a step in the right direction.
“It’s a roller-coaster ride being in the NRL. You can’t play well all the time and you’re not going to be playing all the time. It’s just about sticking to it really and being persistent, and nailing your role every time helps.”
Brisbane are pressing ahead with meetings with star halves Reynolds and Johnson. But should Gamble make a cut-price case for the jersey for the remainder of the season, it may give new chief executive Dave Donaghy food for thought when it comes to slicing up the salary cap pie.
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