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Elgey edges closer to confident best

By Tony Webeck, Chief Queensland Correspondent‌‌, ‌‌‌NRL.com

Two plays this season have defined the small margins in which Kane Elgey's confidence exists.

In his first season back from an ACL injury that cruelled his entire 2016 campaign, Elgey has been awaiting precious glimpses of the player that burst onto the scene two years ago whilst being highly critical of his own performances.

The low point came in Round 7 when a clearing kick was charged down by Matt Gillett and former Titan James Roberts scooted away to seal a 24-22 win for the Broncos, leaving a crestfallen Elgey in a heap on the Suncorp Stadium turf.

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Later that week he was rested for the Round 8 meeting with the Sharks, given an extra week to ponder his failure to close out the game against Brisbane as his teammates returned with two competition points.

"I think we were pretty close to winning that one so that was hard and it took me two weeks to get over it," Elgey said of the Bronco defeat.

"It was tough but we have to move forward and for me I just want to keep playing each week."

Fast forward to Round 11's clash with the Sea Eagles at Cbus Super Stadium and Elgey is riding high after a match-winning play against the Storm that is being talked about as the greatest win in the club's 10-year history.

Trailing by two points with four minutes to play, in a frantic final hail Mary the ball first came to the left where Elgey responded to a rushing Melbourne defence to swing back to the right and put in a perfectly placed kick to the corner for Anthony Don to knock back into the path of a rampant Konrad Hurrell.

"Obviously it's been a pretty rough year for me and the last two or three games have been pretty special. To get the wins is good for the team and it's definitely helping me a bit," Elgey conceded in typically self-deprecating style.

"That was instinct and that was probably one of the biggest parts of my game.

"It's just a confidence thing, it's slowly coming and the wins are coming so it's good.

"It's just wins. If you lose you're getting the blame a bit but the wins are coming and each game is getting better. Obviously a year out of the game has been tough and you can't fall back on that excuse now."

The team's equal-leading try-scorer with six in just nine games to date, Elgey's stats don't tell the full story of his contribution.

He is very much still feeling his way back into a team that performed beyond expectations without him in 2016 and his 43 missed tackles show what a target he has become for opposition teams.

"Defence takes time so his confidence around his defence is a bit of a product of us changing our edge a fair bit," coach Neil Henry said in defence of Elgey's team-high missed tackle count.

"It's been hard, coming back from that knee and trying to get a running game and organisational game.

"What we haven't had is a regular 13 on the field so it's been very hard for our halves to have some combinations when you're chopping and changing your edge back-rowers and your centres and your backline, particularly on the left edge with Kane we haven't been stable there at all.

"We had a lot of close losses where we led games and hadn't been able to hold on and that is disappointing, for playmakers in particular.

"Hopefully he takes a bit of confidence out of that [Storm] game. I thought he was very good and it was a class play to put that kick across."

This article first appeared on NRL.com