Brisbane just scratching surface: Parker

The message Brisbane’s Corey Parker had was simple on Tuesday: you ain’t seen nothing yet.

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“We are still very much a work in progress,” he said of the NRL ladder leaders.

“We have been lucky enough to get away with tight wins but we are a long way away from where we need to be with our standards.

“We have come a long way but we are not getting ahead of ourselves – we have a long way to go.”

That journey continues in Townsville on Friday night when the Broncos take on North Queensland who are riding a six-game winning streak.

Parker claimed the fourth-placed Cowboys were the real team to beat.

“I agree that they are favourites to win the comp – look at their roster and the quality of players that they have got,” he said.

“I think they are the form team of the competition.”

The Broncos aren’t travelling too badly themselves.

One win clear on top of the NRL ladder with an impressive 7-2 record, they’re in an ideal spot as they look to cope with the demands of the Origin season.

Among those wins was a 22-point thumping of the Cowboys back in round three.

The Broncos will be without Queensland Origin hopeful Josh McGuire (suspension) for the derby.

With Maroons coach Mal Meninga set to name his Origin side next week, McGuire took the early plea and will miss one match for a grade one dangerous throw on Penrith back-rower Bryce Cartwright in last round’s 8-5 win.

He will now be available for selection for Queensland in the Origin opener or the Broncos’ next match against the Knights in Newcastle on May 25.

Parker said McGuire would be missed but they have a ready made replacement in Test forward Sam Thaiday who returns from a one-match ban against top four side the Cowboys.

“He is good for us in that he has a high work ethic, and will be sorely missed but we have a fair guy stepping into his shoes,” Parker said of Thaiday.