Pangai set for Broncos balancing act

Laine Clark
Brisbane forward Tevita Pangai Junior (centre) returns against Newcastle from his latest NRL ban

The welcome mat has been thrown out for returning forward Tevita Pangai Junior at Brisbane - but not without a warning from coach Anthony Seibold.

Pangai will slot straight into the back-row for Thursday's NRL clash with Newcastle after serving a four-match ban for dangerous contact in their season-opening win over North Queensland.

But Seibold wants Pangai to play smarter, saying it is time the Tongan international repays the club's faith by finding a way to stay on the field while maintaining his trademark aggression.

Pangai has been suspended for a total of 12 weeks since the start of 2019, and the Broncos have won only two of their dozen games in that spell without the enforcer.

Asked if Pangai had to change his approach ahead of yet another post-ban return, Seibold said: ""It is a balance because you don't want to take away what Tevita's strengths are, which is being aggressive and having plenty of intent on both sides of the footy.

"The last two times that Tevita has got himself in trouble it was just probably a rush of blood on both occasions so he has got to be a little bit smarter there.

"We don't want Tevita to change how he plays the game. I like how he plays the game.

"It is about learning and being a little bit smarter with some of his actions on the field."

But Seibold hinted that Pangai is keen to make amends against the Knights as the 12th-placed Broncos look to break a three-game losing run.

"He started the season really well against the Cowboys but was really disappointed with his actions to get suspended," Seibold said.

Broncos captain Alex Glenn believes Pangai has learned his lesson.

"I love his aggression. I love what he does out there because he wants to win," he said.

"But there is a time and place and you have to have that control.

"He understood that right away after round one. He said to us he doesn't want to miss any more games.

"He knows he has to be more controlled out there. He needs to be out on the field."