Sam Thaiday

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Sam Thaiday
Sam Thaiday (28 July 2009, Sydney).jpg
Thaiday while playing for the Broncos in 2009
Personal information
Full name Samuel H. Thaiday
Nickname Slammin' Sam[1]
Born (1985-06-12) 12 June 1985 (age 29)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 181 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 110 kilograms (17 st 5 lb)
Playing information
Position Second-row, Prop, Lock
Club
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2003– Brisbane Broncos 200 26 1 0 106
Representative
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2006–14 Queensland 21 3 0 0 12
2006–14 Australia 24 1 0 0 4
2007–13 Prime Minister's XIII 2 0 0 0 0
2010 Indigenous All-Stars 1 0 0 0 0
Source: RLP

Samuel Thaiday (/θd/; born 12 June 1985 in Sydney, New South Wales),[2] is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays for the Brisbane Broncos in the National Rugby League, captaining them from 2012-14. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative forward, he has spent all of his career at the Broncos, with whom he won the 2006 premiership. In 2008, Australia's centenary of rugby league and Thaiday's sixth year at the top level, he was one of only three current players to be named in the Indigenous Australian rugby league team of the century.[3]

Background[edit]

Thaiday, who is of Torres Strait Islander descent, was born in Sydney. He played rugby league football for the Brothers club in Townsville, attending Kirwan State High School. His cousin Milton Thaiday also became an NRL footballer.[4]

Playing career[edit]

2000s[edit]

On 11 July 2003, aged 18, he made his National Rugby League debut for the Brisbane Broncos against the Bulldogs in round 18 of the 2003 NRL season.

Solid form in the first 10 weeks of the Broncos season earned Thaiday a spot on the Queensland bench for game one of the 2006 State of Origin series. He was also selected on the bench for the following two games for the Maroons, who went on to win the series. After that, when the Broncos were in the "slump that wasn't a slump", coach Wayne Bennett moved Thaiday from the bench to the starting side.[citation needed] This, among other changes, saw the Broncos' season turn around, and they ended up winning the 2006 NRL Grand Final. Thaiday was selected for his international debut for the Australian national team in Game 2 of the 2006 Tri-Nations against New Zealand after concussion ruled Willie Mason out. As 2006 NRL Premiers, the Brisbane Broncos travelled to England to face 2006 Super League champions, St Helens RLFC in the 2007 World Club Challenge. Thaiday played from the interchange bench in the Broncos' 14-18 loss.

Sam Thaiday in action against the Knights

In the 2007 NRL season Thaiday suffered an injury to the bone around his eye socket and missed all three games of the 2007 State of Origin series for the Queensland Maroons while waiting to recover. He made his 50th first grade appearance in the NRL in 2007 and re-signed with the Broncos until the end of 2009.

In the 2008 NRL season Thaiday was back in form and started the year with a bang, winning back to back man of the match awards in rounds eight and nine to earn himself a starting spot in the 2008 State of Origin series. He was named in the Australia training squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.[5]

In April 2009, Thaiday was named in the 25-man Queensland squad before the opening match of the 2009 State of Origin series.[6] He was named man of the match in the second game of the series. At the end of that season Thaiday played for Australia in their successful 2009 Four Nations campaign in Europe.

2010s[edit]

For the 2010 ANZAC Test, Thaiday was selected to play for Australia at second-row forward and was named man of the match in their victory against New Zealand. During his career Sam Thaiday has often seen himself under attack for the way in which he plays the game, most notably his tendency to enter brawls and scuffles late to "protect" his team-mates. Loved by Brisbane and Queensland fans for his role as an 'enforcer', he's also vilified by opposition fans for what they claim as cheap shots, bullying and his consistency as the "Third man in".[7] In the 2010 State of Origin series Thaiday was much maligned by NSW Blues fans for the way in which he played the game. In Game 2 Luke O'Donnell was a guilty party in a dangerous tackle that sparked an all-in brawl on YouTube, the likes of which hadn't been seen for several years. Most notable was a moment towards the end of the melee in which O'Donnell could be seen to headbutt and then uppercut Queensland's Dave Taylor, upon seeing this Sam Thaiday re-entered the fray and punched O'Donnell twice. Speaking on his involvement Thaiday said, "I saw the headbutt and I made a bee-line straight over to it. That's just not football; fair is fair if you want to punch on with a bloke I'm all for that. But headbutting - that's a bit below the belt".[8] But the New South Welshman saw things differently, "I keep getting asked about the headbutt - I don't think there was much in that," O'Donnell said. "I was getting pulled and pushed in every direction, and Taylor kept scruffing me up. I was doing whatever I could to get out of there. Sam Thaiday ran in and started throwing punches. There were a few dog shots coming in. Someone said I should've been sent off. That's a bit rich considering they were coming in and hitting from behind with some cheap shots. I've got a bruised eye from a nice cheapy from someone when I was on the ground. Self-preservation crosses your mind at some stage."[9] Regardless, Thaiday said he felt comfortable with his role in taking on O'Donnell after coming to Taylor's aid. "I look after my mates. I'm a big family man, I look after my family and all these boys are my family," he said. In a 2010 NRL game, between the Brisbane Broncos and the North Queensland Cowboys, Sam again came under criticism, again for entering a fight as the "Third-man-in" (though technically he was fourth). The NRL match review committee chairman Greg McCallum issued Thaiday a warning for his repeat infringements and threatened him with a ban.[10] McCallum said that Thaiday was treading a fine line rushing in to "protect" teammates he felt had been aggrieved. Broncos fans and team mates took a different view, "Sam's there to protect his players whether he's playing for us, his state or his country," Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough said of the incident.

In 2011 it was announced that Thaiday would be the Broncos' captain for the following season, taking over from the retiring Darren Lockyer despite the return to the club of former Broncos favourite Petero Civoniceva. After the 2011 NRL season, Thaiday travelled with the Australian national team to Britain for the 2011 Four Nations tournament. On 3 November 2011 The annual RLIF Awards dinner was held at the Tower of London and Thaiday was named second-row forward of the year.[11]

Thaiday played for Australia in their victory in the 2012 ANZAC Test against New Zealand. He also played in Game I of the 2012 State of Origin series but had to pull out of Game II with a shoulder injury.

Thaiday was selected for Australia in the 2013 ANZAC Test and played at second-row forward. In what was the first test match ever played in Canberra, New Zealand were defeated. Thaiday played at second row forward in all three games, and scored a try in the 2nd game, of the 2013 State of Origin series in which Queensland extended their record for consecutive series victories to eight.

Boxing[edit]

Statistics
Rated at Heavyweight
Nationality  Australia
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 1
Wins 1

Professional boxing[edit]

1 Wins (1 knockouts), 0 Losses, 0 Draws[12]
Res. Record Opponent Method Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 1-0 New Zealand Ben Tameifuna KO (12) 2013-02-08 New Zealand Trusts Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand Thaiday's professional debut

References[edit]