Brisbane have continued their winning tradition in Sydney's South West with a tough 16-14 victory over the Wests Tigers in front of 16,511 fans at Campbelltown Sports Ground.
It was a game for the people who are on the side of the NRL competition being stopped during the origin period, as a Tigers and Broncos contest didn't reach any great heights without six origin stars on either side. The two teams played like strangers who met earlier in the afternoon with the amount of simple errors committed.
The first half would be generous to describe as NRL level with both teams combining to only produce six points but almost double that in errors and penalties conceded. Brisbane scored the only points seven minutes in when Ben Hunt who starred in a mediocre field spotted Corey Oates running a tempting line for the second rower to crash through some weak defense.
The Tigers were missing captain Robbie Farah thus the responsibility fell to young halfback Luke Brooks who was the focal point of the Tigers attack throughout the night. He produced a stunning solo effort just after halftime, playing an unintended but worthwhile 1-2 with Ben Barba from a rebound kick to scoot through. His Del Piero moment and Richards kicking would torment the Broncos back three in the second half.
For the final half hour - there remained three protagonists in the denouement of the contest. The halfbacks of either side - Ben Hunt and Luke Brooks with a capable assist of Pat Richards kicking boots. Hunt struck first with the first of two penalty goals in the 45th minute to put Brisbane ahead again.
Pat Richards and his kicking will torment Ben Barba in his dreams tonight - the fullback allowing the return to bounce gifting Brooks and the Tigers field position. Although the scoreboard didn't tick, it set the scene for the second Tigers try in the 59th minute. Lachlan Maranta this time misjudged dropout from Richards.
His error gave the Tigers field position and a full set to work with. Luke Brooks once again showing off his short kicking game putting a grubber across the ruck for Bodene Thompson to give the Tigers a deserved 12-8 lead with a quarter of the game to play.
Over to you Mr Hunt. The Broncos halfback working from a simple piggyback from Keith Galloway hung a kick up for Dale Copley who feed an inside ball for Corey Oates for a simple brace. Hunt added the conversion and the Broncos were once again ahead by a single penalty goal.
Once again though, Brisbane clocked off following points. They conceded a penalty forty metres from their own line allowing the Tigers to flirt with the idea of a penalty goal. Pat Richards who had a golden boot through the night stepped up and calmly put the penalty goal through the sticks. 14 a piece, thirteen to go.
The game which didn't reach great heights seemed fitting to be decided by a penalty goal. Ben Hunt once again taking it upon his shoulders to kick them into the lead after Maranta was taken out without the ball. Hunt struck a wobbly kick but no matter it went through the sticks to put Brisbane ahead for the fourth and final time. They held on despite a three minute flurry from the Tigers to continue the joint venture's hoodoo at their own stadium.