Kasiano shocked by Parker's retirement
Sam Kasiano says Brisbane lock forward Corey Parker will be one of the players to watch this weekend when the Bulldogs play host to the Broncos.
That's why he was so shocked to find out at training on Tuesday morning that the Maroons star would be retiring at the end of the 2016 season.
The 2006 premiership-winning Bronco has shown no sign of rust over the past few years; in fact, he's arguably gotten better with age.
The 34-year-old will take on the blue and whites for the 24th time this weekend and will be keen to add to his career-high tally of six tries (he also has six against the Cowboys) come Saturday night.
Still one of the best metre-eaters and exponents of the offload in the game, Parker's impending retirement stunned Kasiano ahead of the Round 16 showdown.
"Is he retiring? Oh wow. I didn't know that. He's a champion, that guy. I can't believe it," Kasiano said.
"He's their go-forward, I reckon. He's their leader. He leads from the front for them. He's a hard person to tackle."
Parker will be one of six Broncos backing up from Holden State of Origin Game II on Wednesday night at Suncorp Stadium.
Their first game after the series opener didn't go to plan with last year's beaten grand finalists thumped by the Warriors by 18 points.
Bulldogs No.9 Michael Lichaa is expecting a vastly different performance from their Origin players this time around.
"They're some of the best players in the game so I'm sure they can handle it. Most of them have been doing it for five, six, seven years so I'm sure they'll be fine," he said.
"They've got other good players like [Anthony] Milford and [Ben] Hunt and they're not playing Origin. They're some of the best players in the competition as well so I'm sure it'll be a big game."
The Bulldogs will head into the game with a horrible recent record against the Broncos with just one win from their five previous meetings.
They'll want to overturn that statistic given just how tight this year's NRL Telstra Premiership has been.
A win on Saturday night would put the Bulldogs level on points with the fourth-placed Broncos, while a loss would see them enter the proverbial dogfight battling it out for a spot in the bottom half of the eight.
It's a situation not lost on Lichaa especially following a couple of tough losses to the Raiders and Sharks in recent weeks.
"We've had the opportunity over the last month to get in the top four if we won some of the games that we probably should have – like the Sharks game. It's a big chance for us this week and hopefully we can [win]," he said.
"You win three in a row and you're probably in the top four. You lose two in a row and you're out of the eight. Every game's a must-win game pretty much for everyone."