Broncos great Michael Hancock in full flight against Manly in 1999. Picture: Roy Haverkamp
Broncos great Michael Hancock in full flight against Manly in 1999. Picture: Roy Haverkamp

A cold beer with . . . Broncos and Qld tryscoring machine

By Michael Nunn

THERE was no better drive in the 1990's than to Mt Gravatt on a Friday night to watch the Broncos play at ANZ Stadium. A massive part of that was Michael Hancock.

On the Broncos left hand side, Hancock scored 120 tries. He was there day one against Manly and there grand final day in 2000. He played 274 games in between with five premierships. Hancock played 14 Origins and 14 Tests for Australia.

I put on the three quarter sleeve number 5 Power's jumper, fashioned my hair into a flat top and sat down with Hancock to talk it over.

In 1987, you are playing for Toowoomba in the State League and lose your semi-final to Wynnum 30-8. Do you think the State League help the Broncos notice you?

Yes, the State League was a great opportunity for country and remote league players to show their capabilities on the big stage. With most game televised, we saw many players getting their chance in NSWRL comp.

Can you remember the day you signed to be a Bronco?

I remember the day well. I was working at McCosker Motors, a little family owned service station/spare parts business. This day I was pumping fuel out the front when a stretch limo pulled up and John Ribot and Paul Morgan got out and introduced themselves, then we went downtown to a local hotel and discussed my contract. Two weeks later, I became a Brisbane Bronco player for the massive sum of $500.

You played with some great Ipswich players - Gary Coyne, Alfie Langer, the Walters brothers. Do you have a favourite?

Alf by far is my favourite player of all time. He was an exceptional leader and the best I have seen at knowing when his team needs something special, and always delivered.

You debuted in a dream Queensland team scoring two tries in a 36-6 win, captained by Wally Lewis and coached by Arthur Beetson. What are your memories of the week?

A player's dream. Great memories putting on the Maroon jersey because playing for your respective club you wear just a number. Playing for Queensland, you get to wear a number but more importantly, your family name is loud and proud on the back, which is a reward for all the sacrifices our families made to give us the opportunity to play rugby league.

Do you still have your first Queensland, Broncos and Australian jumper?

Yes. I have every jersey I played in since started as a six-year-old.

Do you have a favourite try from your 120 Broncos tries?

I think the first ever try I scored was important against the Eels at Parramatta as it gave me confidence to continue.

Michael Hancock FOG 58: 14 Origin games, seven wins, 1452 run metres, 203 possessions, nine line breaks, 170 runs, 67 tackle busts, 87 tackles, five tries and 20 points.