The man tipped to step up in retiring skipper Justin Hodges’ absence, Jordan Kahu, says Brisbane’s shattering NRL grand final loss will motivate him to “make amends” next year.
Kahu is expected to be given one of league’s most daunting tasks in 2016 – filling 16-season centre Hodges’ boots.
But the talented flyer admits his biggest challenge will be overcoming their golden point 17-16 defeat to North Queensland at ANZ Stadium on Sunday night.
Cowboys winger Kyle Feldt scored after the fulltime siren to lock up the scores before Clive Churchill Medal winner Johnathan Thurston kicked an 83rd minute field goal to seal the club’s maiden title.
“I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. I just want to wake up from this bad dream – hopefully we make amends next year,” Kahu said.
“I think everyone in our team thought we had it won but North Queensland never gave up, we didn’t either but it went their way.
“To have a window of opportunity like this is pretty special, to not make the most of it hurts.
“But we have to celebrate Hodgo’s career.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t do it for him on the night.”
Kahu is expected to switch from the wing to try and fill the gaping void left by 33-year-old centre Hodges, who drew the curtain on his glittering career on Sunday night.
Kahu said the cruel NRL grand final finish would motivate him as he contemplates the Herculean task.
“Everyone is going to work that much harder, I am going to hold it close to my heart,” Kahu said.
“I will put the result somewhere in my room so I can wake up every morning and motivate me.
“It’s a harsh lesson but we can build on that.
“We are a young team, we will bounce back.”
Kahu was seen as the man being groomed for Hodges’ spot after re-signing until the end of 2017 in August.
Kahu – who has overcome major knee operations in 2011-12 – made his NRL debut in 2013 filling in for an injured Hodges.
Kahu looked forward to rebuilding Brisbane with the likes of the remaining old guard of Corey Parker and Sam Thaiday.
“I am sure they will lead us next year,” he said.
“We won’t drop off after one grand final loss. We will bounce back.”
Including halfback Ben Hunt.
The Broncos No.7 was inconsolable after knocking on from the golden point re-start.
Moments later Thurston kicked the match winning field goal.
Kahu said Hunt and halves partner Anthony Milford were Brisbane’s future.
“Ben and Milf have carried us to the finals – we have a lot to thank them for,” he said.
“We lost as a team, no one lost it for us.
“There were a couple of plays where we could have put the final nail in the coffin, you can’t put it all on him.
“He will bounce back. He will only get better.”