Brisbane add to Newcastle's misery
Brisbane have continued Newcastle's misery with an at-times tense 50-24 victory at Suncorp Stadium.by NRL
Brisbane have continued Newcastle's misery with an at-times tense 50-24 victory at Suncorp Stadium.
Playing their first Sunday game of the year, Broncos big guns Justin Hodges, Peter Wallace and Sam Thaiday revelled in the daylight to make amends for last week's dark performance against the Storm.
Brisbane broke away to an early 24-0 lead before Newcastle injected fear into the Broncos camp with three unanswered tries before halftime and the first after the interval to get within two points with 20 minutes to go.
The Broncos steadied to put their southern opponents and former mentor Wayne Bennett to the sword with four classy late tries. For Bennett's men, the embarrassment of last week's loss to the Titans is compounded by their fourth consecutive loss ? their third in a row to Queensland teams.
The second half began in stark contrast to the first with both teams struggling to forge a dent in the defensive walls. However it was the Broncos who buckled first in the 59th minute with Richie Fa'aoso crossing untouched under the posts.
That try prompted rugby league expert Phil Gould to label Brisbane's defensive effort as "very un-Bronco like".
In typical Broncos fashion, however, they hit back as captain Sam Thaiday left a path of destruction in his wake to steal back the ascendency.
The match-sealing, champagne moment came in the 72nd minute as plucky halfback Peter Wallace threw an incredible cut-out pass to Gerard Beale deep inside his own half.
Beale found open space, drew the fullback and passed inside to Justin Hodges, who scored to put Brisbane in an unbeatable 38-24 position.
Late tries to Andrew McCullough and Josh Hoffman iced the cake as the Broncos registered their first half-century of 2012.
After a sterling defensive effort in the opening exchanges, the Broncos forwards laid the platform for a sparkling first try to winger Beale, who received a beaut ball from his inside man Hodges.
A lucky chargedown by form back-rower Alex Glenn put Brisbane in ideal field position for their next registration of points. Jack Reed touched down after the halves sent the pill wide.
A quick play the ball on the back of more dominant field position saw the Broncos swing the ball wide to Hodges who powered his way over the top of a couple of Newcastle defenders for Brisbane's third try of the match.
In the 21st minute the Broncos had galloped away to a commanding 24-0 lead after Corey Parker found himself in open space. Parker took the tackle and Glenn threw a smart cut-out pass for Dale Copley to score in the corner.
Parker's fourth difficult conversion came from the sideline as he kept his perfect record intact.
Broken, yet far from beaten, the Knights hit back as veteran rake Danny Buderus scurried over from dummy half. Wes Naiqama and Buderus' second came just before halftime to significantly narrow the gap.
A Parker penalty goal on the hooter seemingly arrested Newcastle's momentum to send the Broncos into the sheds with a 26-18 advantage.
BRISBANE BRONCOS 44 (G Beale, J Reed, J Hodges 2, D Copley, S Thaiday, A McCullough, J Hoffman tries; C Parker 8, P Wallace 1 goals) defeated NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 24 (D Buderus 2, D Boyd, R Fa'aoso tries; W Naiqama 4 goals)
Crowd: 26, 683
Halftime: Broncos 26-18
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