The Brisbane Broncos have taken the two competition points tonight in a typical war of attrition against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, the home side winning 24-20 in front of over 46,000 fans.
With a history of close games, the battle between the Broncos and Cowboys was going to have everyone talking and it was definitely the case after the opening 40 minutes. The game started with pure dominance from the Cowboys who raced out to an 8 point lead within as many minutes thanks to a try to Jordan McLean inside three minutes and then a Johnathan Thurston penalty goal.
The visitors had dominated the opening minutes but things changed big time off the back of a short drop out by the Broncos who regathered the ball. From that point on the Broncos began their dominance of the remaining half hour before the break, and they got back into their groove when Tevita Pangai Junior barged over to score before Tom Opacic's first touch of the ball was to score a lucky try. The four-pointer came when Ben Hampton let an Andrew McCullough bomb bounce and it bounced on its point straight to Opacic who scored.
Brisbane capped off their first half scoring when Alex Glenn was on the end of some beautiful running play from the hosts. They then dominated the opening exchanges of the second half but they couldn't turn it into points, and on the stroke of the hour mark the Cowboys brought themselves back into the game when Gavin Cooper crossed off a Thurston short ball to bring the score back within a try. The away side then crossed soon after but was knocked back by Ben Cummins and the Bunker, who ruled Jake Granville was held before promoting the ball.
The Cowboys continued their dominance but the pendulum swung yet again when James Roberts took off and created something from nothing to run 40m before finding Kodi Nikorima to score.
It swung straight back to the Townsville side minutes later, when JT put a touch of his magic onto the game to put Granville onto the ball and the hooker scored to close the gap to an unconverted try. The Cowboys then celebrated as if they had scored when Scott Bolton steamed toward the line, but an amazing last ditch tackle from Pangai Junior forced the North Queensland forward into the goalpost, saving the day and making sure the Broncos held onto victory, winning 24-20.
Next weekend, Brisbane have a trip down to Campbelltown to take on the Wests Tigers on Friday night, whilst the Cowboys have to rebuild with a grand final replay coming up against the Storm next Thursday night in Melbourne.