Tesi could be headed for a Niu home as Broncos beat Cowboys in derby

Just a few hours after officially securing the signature of Anthony Milford, South Sydney officials cast their eye over another potential Brisbane target.

Tesi Niu, despite wearing the Broncos No.1 jersey, remains unsigned beyond this season. Like Milford, he is another player incoming Rabbitohs head coach Jason Demetriou is keeping an eye on with a view to bolstering his 2022 roster.

Niu did his chances of shifting from Red Hill to Redfern no harm on Friday night. The teenaged former Australian Schoolboys star ran for 152 metres, including five tackles busts. He won’t be without an NRL home next season.

Niu was one of several strong contributors to his sides’ 37-18 win over North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium. It’s the eighth victory from nine their past eight clashes against the Cowboys at their home ground.

The grandstand finish that has been the hallmark of recent clashes would have eventuated had the bunker not detected the tiniest of knock-ons as Kyle Feldt attempted to ground the ball for what would have been his second try. After watching countless replays, particularly the slow-motion variety, a case could have been made either way.

Given both sides came into the game conceding an average of 30 points per game, this was always going to be an open affair. Kotoni Staggs, warming into his work after returning from a long injury lay-off, scored two tries.

There is a push for Staggs to wear the No.6 jersey alongside incoming halfback Adam Reynolds next season. However, this performance underscored his value in the centres.

There were other moments that stood out, none moreso than when Brisbane winger Jamayne Isaako leapt above Murray Taulagi to take a spectacular AFL-style mark.

The Cowboys enjoyed 60 per cent of the ball in the first half, yet still went into the sheds behind by two converted tries. Their fortunes didn’t improve when the opposition got an even share of the Steeden.

The bottom half of the competition is perhaps as weak as it has ever been, yet the top eight is out of reach for both sides. The improvement for the Broncos has been incremental; they have now notched five wins, two more than last year. At least they have seemingly just done enough to offload the wooden spoon.

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