Dave Craven: Top-10 Danny Brough has new targets to aim for before bowing out

Mr Prolific Danny Brough of 'Huddersfield Giants. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Mr Prolific Danny Brough of 'Huddersfield Giants. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
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SEEING yet another Brisbane Broncos v North Queensland Cowboys game go to golden point yesterday got me thinking.

No, not about whether Super League should follow NRL’s lead and bring in the extra-time decider rather than settling for a good old-fashioned draw.

During a brilliant career that has taken him from home-town Dewsbury and York to Scotland via Hull FC, Castleford, Wakefield and Giants, exciting scrum-half Danny Brough has always been prolific.

Dave Craven

That debate will go on but the sport struggles to get in the national papers here as it is given tight deadlines.

So, the prospect of playing up to another 10 minutes on Thursday and Friday nights could not only cause heightened stress for under-pressure hacks but reduce coverage even further which rugby league can ill-afford.

Admittedly, the occasions do invariably bring great drama; it could even be described as innate – players bust their guts for 80 minutes and are then forced into a next-point winner scenario so it is unquestionably dramatic.

Indeed, the Beeb’s Dave Woods described it best yesterday as, remarkably, the Broncos and Cowboys went toe-to-toe in golden point for a fourth successive time: ‘Imagine running a marathon and then deciding the winner with a 100m sprint.’ How true.

Nevertheless, for all it commands everyone’s attention as the seconds tick down and everyone stays so on edge – Cowboys won, by the way, with a drop goal from Johnathan Thurston (who else?) – it is the actual art of amassing thousands of points, not just one ‘golden’ one, that got me musing.

That is because Huddersfield Giants’ Danny Brough recently broke into the sport’s top 10 all-time leading point scorers, usurping former Featherstone favourite Steve Quinn from an illustrious list.

A fine exponent of the drop goal just like that footballing genius Thurston, Brough had gathered 3,440 points ahead of last night’s game at Leigh.

During a brilliant career that has taken him from home-town Dewsbury and York to Scotland via Hull FC, Castleford, Wakefield and Giants, the exciting scrum-half has always been prolific.

Indeed, by the time you read this, he may have also edged past another iconic player in that all-time list, legendary Welsh stand-off Lewis Jones, who led Leeds to their first league championship in 1961.

At 34, Brough is clearly getting towards the end of his playing days so it will be interesting to see how many others he can pick off that top 10 before he calls it a day.

Certainly, eighth-placed Kel Coslett, the former St Helens and Rochdale player who garnered 3,545 career points between 1962 and 1979, could theoretically be caught this season.

Likewise, ex-Hull KR and Featherstone star Cyril Kellett, who retired in 1979 on 3,686.

Of a more recent vintage, Mick Nanyn – in sixth place – is also in touching distance, the former Scotland centre having reached 3,700 points when he quit Swinton Lions two years ago.

Even if he plays on for another three years, it is unlikely Brough will overhaul anyone else with John Woods, in fifth, looking safe on 3,985 and Gus Risman and Kevin Sinfield further on still.

Then there is Jim Sullivan, who amassed a 6,022 points between 1921 and 1946 only to still be somehow outdone by legendary Wakefield Trinity centre Neil Fox, whose total of 6,220 will surely never be beaten.

The point, though, is that although he cannot claim to be the all-time greatest player, like many say Thurston is, Brough should still be lauded as a master craftsman when those boots are hung up. Whenever that may be.