While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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REDCLIFFE has held on for 26-20 win against the Brisbane Broncos Emerging Squad, played before another healthy pre-season crowd at Dolphin Oval.
On an evening when the Broncos? top squad faced Canberra in Port Macqaurie, their younger brigade learned some lessons off a few old heads.
Despite it being the Dolphins first run of the season, the home side appeared more composed and comfortable from the outset, establishing a 16-4 halftime lead.
Indeed, without a hint of sentiment, veterans Troy Lindsay and Greg Bourke only seemed to have grown better with another offseason under their belts.
The most capped player in Queensland Wizard Cup history, Lindsay was sharper than anyone in the opening exchanges, launching his 32-year-old body at the line with speed and gusto.
After hauling hay on his Dayboro property all day, Lindsay has reportedly trained like a teenager and has even bought a rowing machine for his rare days off.
His hard work showed.
Damien Jentz?s try in the 17th minute came the very next play after a Lindsay hit-up, with Trent Callaghan slow to get across after making the tackle.
The Broncos didn?t take long to respond via Gideon Mzembe, pouncing on a chip in-goal by former Wavell High halfback Jacob Fauid.
Malawi-raised Mzembe certainly didn?t have things all his own way however and was met with force on a number of kick returns, much to the delight of the crowd.
His opposite man, Dolphins debutant Kaine Manihera, was gifted a try in the 32nd minute, with journeyman Bourke laying the groundwork.
Although bulked-up, Bourke surprised teammates and onlookers with a blistering turn of speed to break into the clear, timing his pass to Manihera to perfection.
Not long after, Nick Emmett was put across in the corner by artful dummy-half Michael Roberts, who frog-stepped his way behind the markers before creating the gap.
Twelve points down at the break, the fresh-faced Broncos had an uphill task.
Fullback Denan Kemp momentarily raised hope of a fightback when he scooped up a loose ball and outpaced a horde of defenders over 80m to score in the 48th minute.
Earlier the one-time soccer prodigy ran 45m off his own line to defuse a potentially threatening grubber kick.
Another Broncos hopeful with a big future, utility Jamie Simpson, scored one of his signature pin-ball tries, bouncing off the defence in the 62nd minute.
However experience shone through at important times, Bourke mixing skill, speed and guile to twice grubber ahead and outpace Mzembe to the ball in the 67th minute.
Fellow three-quarter Emmett completed a brace when he took a spectacular bomb from Marty Turner on the fly.
An eventful final few minutes saw prop Lynden Murphy score for the Broncos, having tried in earnest throughout.
Redcliffe prop Pat Gardner was placed on report on the final play of the game for a late tackle on Fauid.
Dolphin Mark Shipway wore jersey number 18 in his return to the club he last represented a decade ago, but was included in the starting line-up.
In lower grades Redcliffe won both encounters, with a 34-12 try in Colts and a 24-20 win in FOGS Cup, secured by a last minute try to Chris Jelich.
REDCLIFFE 26 (Nick Emmett 2, Damien Jentz, Kaine Manihera, Greg Bourke tries; Greg Bourke 3 goals) beat TOOWOOMBA 20 (Gideon Mzembe, Denan Kemp, Jamie Simpson, Lynden Murphy tries; Jacob Fauid, Todd Parnell goals).
REDCLIFFE 24 (Matt Mannion, Mick Pares, Mitchell Simpson, Adam Luchetti, Chris Jelich tries; Alwayn Simpson 2 goals) beat ASPLEY 20 (Ben Coleman, Todd Parnell, Scott Millar, TBC tries; Pat Dall 2 goals)
FOGS Colts Challenge
REDCLIFFE 34 (Dion Porteus, Michael Wilson, Matt Handcock, Tim Yee, Jon Broad, Tom Donnelly, Jordan Brown tries; Tim Benson 3 goals) beat ASPLEY 12 (Brynjar Ragnarsson, Troydan Edwards tries; Scott Millar 2 goals).