Broncos' Mam eyes rebooting famous duo with Walsh
Brisbane five-eighth Ezra Mam still watches clips of former North Queensland fullback Mat Bowen before games to get him primed to dazzle.
Mam grew up idolising the Cowboys' dynamic duo in Bowen and Johnathan Thurston, and he wants to replicate their success with Broncos fullback Reece Walsh.
Mam and Walsh came through the club's academy together and that familiarity was on show in the 28-16 win over North Queensland on Friday night, where they carved up in their first NRL game playing together.
Walsh set up three tries and scored one, while Mam crossed twice after he was hot on the heels of Walsh.
Thurston and Bowen were brilliant in tandem for many years. While Bowen was the fullback and Thurston the half in that combination, they had a sixth sense that No.6 Mam and fullback Walsh share.
Thurston, and in particular Bowen, were two inspirations for Mam.
"They were my idols growing up and I watched a lot of the games that they played," Mam said.
"Me and Walshy can form that connection over the years we are here together.
"We grew up in the academy coming through the ranks. Being good mates we have that connection. Wherever he pops up, I just know he is there.
"He will just pull a rabbit out of the hat whenever he wants to. Give him the ball and he will do something special."
Mam still watches Bowen highlights before games to get him in the mood.
"That is a bit of a routine that I do, obviously with (Bowen) being a big idol of mine," he said.
"How he played was on another level to everyone else. I view a bit of video of him before the game and it gives me confidence. I like to take a bit from him and put it into my game."
Walsh just wants to be near Mam every time he has the ball, just like Thurston and Bowen were in their pomp.
"You watch Ez closely, every time there is a shift he is pushing around the ball," Walsh said.
"If I can take something out of his book hopefully I can become a better player. Every time Ez touches the ball he is a spark.
"I want to try and push around him and we want to combine as much as we can. If we do that we are a chance of winning footy games."
The two young guns can strut their stuff safe in the knowledge that veteran skipper and half Adam Reynolds will manage the game with aplomb. Mam said Reynolds also kept them grounded.
"It is more of a reality check," Mam said.
"Me and Walshy can get carried away with our plays and we know having him there just to straighten us up and tell us what to do makes our jobs a lot easier. It gives us two a bit of freedom."