Broncos No.6 Mam will handle Dolphins heat: Walters

Brisbane No.6 Ezra Mam had his knee strapped at training but is right to take on the Dolphins as prop Payne Haas prepares for an early forward onslaught.

KEVIN WALTERS. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Brisbane coach Kevin Walters says tyro five-eighth Ezra Mam will handle any extra heat from the Dolphins in Friday night's derby.

Mam trained on Thursday with reams of strapping on his right leg after injuring it in the 40-18 win over the Dragons last week.

He played through the injury but the 20-year-old is sure to be given extra attention by the Dolphins' defence at Suncorp Stadium after scoring three tries in the opening three rounds.

Dolphins enforcer Felise Kaufusi is suspended and will miss the game. Kaufusi has been in punishing form on his side's defensive right edge, where Mam likes to run.

Kaufusi won't be there but his replacement in the starting side Connelly Lemuelu is no slouch and won't be backward in reminding Mam of his presence.

Walters has no concern about Mam's attacking prowess but expects the Dolphins to come at him.

"I think they will try to (pressure Mam) but he has been up to the challenge of the first three weeks and I expect him to be again, particularly in defence," Walters said.

"That is where our focus has been this week to make sure we are working hard for each other."

Mam has missed just three tackles in his last two games.

Walters said there was no doubt over his availability.

"He is right to go. He will be good," he said.

After last week's win over the Dragons, skipper Adam Reynolds said the team would be aiming to begin the game on the front foot after conceding early tries in the past two matches.

"I think our starts have been pretty poor for the majority of the season," Reynolds said.

It is a view echoed by Brisbane's NSW Origin prop Payne Haas.

"We have to have a better start or they will run all over us," Haas said.

"Their whole forward pack has been playing well together. I think (Dolphins lock) Tom Gilbert has been really good for them and leading the way. They have got a very tough forward pack and it is up to us to match them."

Haas was superb against the Dragons and plans on leaving nothing in the tank.

"You don't need any more motivation than a derby game, especially the battle of Brisbane against a team coached by Wayne Bennett. They are going to be up for this," Haas said.

"He loves getting one over the Broncos. They are going to be ready for us and we just have to match them."