The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The depleted Titans have proved they are the bravest team in the competition yet they have once again just fell short, with a James Roberts' hat-trick powering the Broncos to a 24-22 win in a thriller at Suncorp Stadium in front of over 34,000 fans.
The all-Queensland derby opened in fast fashion with the Titans showing great energy early. Early chances to Jarrod Wallace and Tyrone Roberts-Davis were left begging but it was Tyrone Roberts who helped the Gold Coast to the first points of the night when he outpaced Brisbane defenders from his own 20 to flick for Anthony Don who would run 80 metres to score.
The Titans continued to threaten and a six again call on the back of a James Roberts touch saw the Gold Coast take advantage once more with Ryan James barging over in the 14th minute. Despite a growing injury toll the Titans were well on top early. Yet, the Broncos still appeared promising in attack and Alex Glenn bombed a certain try in the 17th minute when he could not handle an incredible Anthony Milford flick pass.
However, they would not let the next chance slip. Darius Boyd would show his experience when he put Roberts through a gaping hole in the 20th minute. Ten minutes later Roberts was through again, this time he used his blistering pace to get on the outside of former Bronco Dale Copley to reduce his side's deficit to just two.
The Titans were given some chances early on in the second half but failed to make the most of their opportunities. It was not just them though, Jordan Kahu looked a certainty to score after Roberts found space out wide only for the Brisbane winger to take too long to take advantage with the ball coming loose courtesy of a Copley tackle. However, finally, a try came when Kodi Nikorima stepped through the Gold Coast defence to score in the 57th minute to lock things up.
Five minutes later they were in again when an error from Ash Taylor was scooped up by Milford who ran 70 metres before linking with Roberts who unselfishly passed back to his five-eighth who crossed in the corner to put Brisbane in front for the first time. It appeared as if the Broncos would run away with it, yet a Taylor grubber would sit up perfectly for Kane Elgey to see the Titans regain the lead with nine minutes remaining.
You felt as if there was still one final twist, and Matt Gillett came up with one of the plays of the game when he charged down an Elgey kick and regathered the ball. He then found Roberts in support who would speed away for his third in the 78th minute. The Titans regained the ball off the kick-off but fell agonisingly short in the end, going down 24-22.
Next week the Broncos travel to ANZ Stadium to take on Souths on Friday night while the Titans have to forget this week's heart break as they prepare for the Sharks on Saturday night in the Shire.
Brisbane Broncos 24 - Gold Coast Titans 22
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 10 Gold Coast Titans 16
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jarrod Wallace
2 points - Darius Boyd
1 points - James Roberts
BRISBANE BRONCOS (24)
Tries: James Roberts (3), Kodi Nikorima, Anthony Milford
Conversions: Jordan Kahu (2/4), Anthony Milford (0/1)
GOLD COAST TITANS (22)
Tries: Anthony Don, Ryan James, Chris Grevsmuhl, Kane Elgey
Conversions: Ashley Taylor (3/4)