TPJ: I want to stay with Brisbane
Tevita Pangai Jr says his preference is to remain at the Broncos, dismissing speculation he will eventually follow his former Brisbane mentor Wayne Bennett to South Sydney.
The off-contract Pangai Jr did his market value no harm at all with a dynamic display to help spearhead Brisbane's 15-10 boilover of the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Elevated into the starting side on game day, Tevita the Terminator responded, amassing 141 metres, three tackle busts and seven offloads, including the clever second-phase pass for Payne Haas' 16th-minute try.
Pangai Jr has been consistently linked with the Roosters at a time when the Broncos' salary-cap space is gradually being chewed up by the retention of Joe Ofahengaue and Corey Oates' impending upgrade.
There is also a view that it is only a matter of time before the Tongan international reunites with Bennett at Redfern, but Pangai Jr is keen to extend his stay at the Broncos.
"I don't know if there is any money left for me here, but I hope so," Pangai Jr said.
"I'm leaving the contract stuff to my manager, but I am loving it in Brisbane.
"If I was to follow Wayne, I would have gone to Souths this year.
"I actually supported 'Seibs' (new Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold) to come to the Broncos.
"I wanted to make sure my defence was intact and he had coached at the Storm and coached a guy like Sam Burgess at Souths.
"Seibs' strength is defence so I was happy for him to come to the Broncos. I'm glad the Broncos board brought him here.
"I'll continue to work on my form, we have one game before the bye so I'd like continue my form with a good win against the Warriors across the ditch (this Saturday night)."
Due to a change of management last season, Pangai Jr had to delay contract talks until the end of 2018 campaign, forcing the Broncos to broker a 12-month arrangement.
The 23-year-old says he would have no issue inking another short-term deal as he backs himself to produce the form that has seen him dubbed Brisbane's version of Cowboys wrecking ball Jason Taumalolo.
"It doesn't bother me if it's a shorter contract. If it has to be only 12 months, I'll back myself, I don't mind a shorter-term deal," he said.
"Last year, the contract stuff wasn't why my form was up and down. It wasn't to do with my contract dragging on, it was more my hamstring problems, but this year we have done a lot of work on my hamstrings so hopefully I can stay on the field and keep impressing.
"I think I can get a lot better. Me and 'Seibs' have worked on our relationship in the first two months and we are starting to see some results now.
"He has pulled my minutes back a bit and said make sure you work on the little things like my carries and making my tackles."