Broncos grab new halfback Article from: The Courier ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Font size: Decrease Increase ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Email article: Email ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Print article: Print ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¢ Submit comment: Submit comment Matt Marshall June 24, 2007 19:00pm HALFBACK saviour Matt Oford could join Brisbane as early as next week with club officials last night manoeuvring for his immediate release from Manly. Orford, 29, is eager to join the NRL merry-go-round by immediately linking with master coach Wayne Bennett and the defending premiers. The Sea Eagles may yet block the move, but that appears unlikely following the recent form of hooker Michael Monaghan. The immediate playing future of Orford remains heavily clouded after coach Des Hasler gave the ex-Melbourne star no guarantee of finishing 2007 in first grade. He underlined that message yesterday by dropping Orford to the second tier recovery session. "He'd be an option on a reasonable base contract with match payments," Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen said of the man viewed as Darren Lockyer's long-term halves partner. "I doubt they'd release him ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â€Âœ but Manly would have paid him more than half of what his current contract is. If we were able to get him under $50,000, that would keep him under our cap." Hasler, who has indicated he is ready to start implementing plans for next year, said on Monday that Orford might need to stand aside for an emerging half. He also refused to guarantee Orford's NRL spot. The Sea Eagles are also grooming up-and-coming pivot Aaron Groom, who played in Jersey Flegg on Friday night. "It would need to be a quick turnaround," Orford's manager George Mimis said of the potential switch last night. "He's got to do it before next Saturday" MimisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ said he would be disappointed if Manly refused Orford a release and then made him play out the season in reserve grade. "I don't think Des Hasler would be game to do that. There would be an uproar," Mimis said. "If they don't pick people on form there would be an uproar. His form warrants selection in first grade, surely. "I'd be very disappointed if something like that happened, as would most people at the club, fans included. He (Hasler) would be putting his neck right on the block. You just don't do those sorts of things." Manly lost 27-8 to the Bulldogs on Friday night.