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Broncos prop to savour rare NRL final

His record does not exactly earn him the nickname “Mr September”.


But resurgent prop Adam Blair is seen as the key to Brisbane ending their longest NRL premiership drought – and a lean trot of his own.

Kiwi international Blair will remarkably contest his first playoff clash in six seasons when he runs out for Brisbane in Saturday night’s qualifying final with North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.

Blair has provided Brisbane the hard edge they have been craving after stepping up in the absence of Queensland prop Josh McGuire (Achilles) since June.

Blair has formed a stunning front row duo with “fro bro” Sam Thaiday and is seen by teammate Alex Glenn as the man to spark Brisbane’s tilt at their seventh title but first since 2006.

“He has brought a lot to our pack,” Glenn said.

“For me personally I love it when he gets up us because it brings out that aggression in you.

“He’s so great controlling the ruck with his wrestle game from his (Melbourne) Storm days, he’s brought a lot and taught us as well.”

The New Zealand forward was dubbed “Teddy Blair” and compared with a soft toy after producing just one hit-up in 41 minutes in his second match for Brisbane in March – reportedly the worst effort by an NRL prop in almost two decades.

Blair is now spearheading the Broncos pack in their bid to reverse a 0-3 NRL finals record against the Cowboys.

“He came here with an open mind, he wasn’t expecting any handouts and he has really worked hard,” Thaiday said of Blair.

“There was a time he was on the bench fighting for a spot but in the absence of Josh McGuire he has really stood up.

“He’s bringing a lot of experience into our side and helping out our young players.”

Blair played three grand finals in his first four seasons with Melbourne.

But the Storm’s 2010 salary cap debacle, a five-game ban for his infamous 2011 brawl with Manly’s Glenn Stewart and three luckless years at Wests Tigers have ensured he has not played a final since the 2009 decider.

“You don’t want to be sitting on the sidelines watching other teams play,” Blair said of his recent finals frustration.

“You train really hard and go through some tough times with your teammates.

“To be finished at Round 26, it’s tough to take.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this club and where we’re heading.

“It brings the best out of you as a person and a player.”

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