21 hours ago
Geia gets nod again with Cowboys
He's the fastest player at the North Queensland Cowboys - and it's not Matt Bowen.
Only one thing has rivalled teenager Obe Geia's express pace at the club - his whirlwind NRL introduction.
And it shows no sign of slowing down on Friday night.
The learning curve facing the 19-year-old will only get steeper when he runs out against the Broncos in the much-anticipated NRL derby clash at Suncorp Stadium.
Geia - whose first name is short for Obadiah - made his NRL debut as a late, shock replacement for former Origin flyer Ty Williams against the Wests Tigers last Saturday night.
As expected from a bloke who can out sprint Bowen, Geia beat Anthony Perkins and Sam Bowie in the last minute race for Williams' wing spot after coach Graham Murray opted for a "change in direction".
Despite being in a well-beaten side, Geia has retained his spot for the Broncos clash ensuring Williams only earned a Cowboys recall in the centres due to Ash Graham's suspension.
"His eyes are wide open and he is learning. It's going to be a whole new experience for him this week I imagine," Cowboys football manager Dean Lance said of the Palm Islander.
"He's like a kid in a lolly shop at the moment. He's having a great time."
Cowboys head trainer Glen Murphy confirmed Geia was the club's fastest player - but kept his cards close to his chest when asked just how quick.
"We don't release that sort of information," he said.
But if leaving livewire Bowen for dead did not put his speed in perspective, Geia's resume also boasts a second placing in the 2006 national schoolboys' 100m final.
"When we tested the players he was the quickest. I've always known how quick he is so that was no surprise to me," Murphy said of Geia outpacing Bowen.
"The kid's got talent otherwise he wouldn't be where is right now."
Geia was earmarked for an NRL debut 12 months ago when the Cowboys lost wingers Williams (injury) and Matt Sing (England) in early 2007.
But Murray resisted the temptation and protected the then 18-year-old, nurturing the raw talent for another year.
The leading try-scorer on the 2006 Australian Schoolboys tour has made every post a winner since, earning a last gasp NRL nod last weekend.
He made 85 metres against the Wests Tigers with limited opportunities.
"I was real impressed with how he handled the up in class," Lance said.
"He made a couple of errors position-wise but he did plenty of good things too for a young bloke on first grade debut.
"He's one of those young blokes you don't hear boo out of - he doesn't cause too much fuss."
That may all change if Geia leaves the Broncos in his wake this week.