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Match Summary It wasn't always assured, with a late comeback scaring the home side - but Brisbane have recorded a confidence-boosting victory over South Sydney at Suncorp Stadium, victorious 32-18 tonight in front of 34,112 fans.
The Broncos led all night in a game that was never truly in doubt, however the Rabbitohs did manage a small fightback in the final 20 which left many wondering where it had come from, reducing the margin to eight late in the piece before a fulltime try to Joel Moon - who recorded a double - gave the result it's final 14-point margin.
The game started solidly for a Broncos outfit that became plagued by injuries, the Queensland-based side losing Steve Michaels early on, adding to their centre-pairing woes which saw Justin Hodges start from the bench due to flu.
Brisbane cruised to a 14-6 halftime lead on the back of simple and effective play, however a niggling shoulder injury to Hodges seemed to get the better of him late in the half and by the early reaches of the second forty he was relegated once again to the sideline.
The hosts managed a 20-point lead by the hour mark, Ennis having a hand in plenty of tries while also scoring one of his own. It wasn't until the 64th minute that Souths began to wake from their slumber, scoring two tries in five minutes to put a scare into the Broncos. The Brisbane defence then stepped up, snuffing any chance of a miracle comeback, before the Joel Moon sealing try in the final minute.
Brisbane will be looking to take their good form into a Saturday night clash with the Tigers next week at Sydney's ANZ Stadium, while Souths will host North Queensland at the same venue less than 24 hours later.
Match Details Round 7 :: April 25th, 2008 7:30pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium Referee: Jason Robinson Crowd: 34,112 Halftime: Brisbane 14-6
Brisbane Broncos 32 Tries: Denan Kemp (2), Joel Moon (2), Justin Hodges, Michael Ennis Goals: Michael Ennis (4/7) South Sydney Rabbitohs 18 Tries: David Fa'alogo, Nathan Merritt (2) Goals: Issac Luke (1/1), George Ndaira (1/1), Eddie Paea (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Suncorp Stadium is the venue tonight for what many see as a forgone conclusion in terms of the result - high-flying Brisbane, welcoming back test captain Darren Lockyer, facing the languishing South Sydney side battling for their first win of the season.
Team Changes Dave Taylor will drop off the Brisbane five-man bench, Joel Moon will take his place. A few shuffles in the run-on side including Hodges starting off the bench due to a niggling flu. Stagg will start in the centres while the forward pack shuffles around to accommodate Stagg's move. South Sydney will be as per program however Issac Luke will start from the bench with George Ndaira running out with the side.
ANZAC Ceremonies taking place now. Coin toss performed on-field - Broncos to kick off.
Proceedings have concluded and we are now primed for kickoff.
0 min: We are underway - South Sydney with first possession.
4 min: INJURY - Brisbane Broncos. Steve Michaels is down, not looking good for him. His right knee looks to have been dislocated, stretcher is on for him now. Hodges still sick enough that Joel Moon replaces Michaels.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible Brisbane Broncos try... decision pending but it looks like it's there...
7 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Brisbane are over just half a set after the injury to Michaels, ball through the hands sends Denan Kemp over in the corner. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 4-0
9 min: The Rabbitohs mount some pressure and force back-to-back sets... can they do it?
10 min: The situation is diffused for Brisbane with the Bunnies just playing some shocking footy to hand the ball back over. If the end of that set is any indication we could be in for a long night.
12 min: A rugby league miracle has occured - Brisbane won the scrum against the feed!
15 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Ennis converts a penalty opportunity to increase the Broncos margin to six. Brisbane Broncos 6-0
21 min: Brisbane prop Ben Hannant was away and did score, however Stagg held a Rabbitoh defender back and the try was denied without even heading upstairs. Brisbane still looking the far better off the sides, Souths continuing to make basic errors.
25 min: Souths hand over possession on the Broncos line but Brisbane hand it back with Hodges pushed into touch from the ensuing scrum play. Souths heavy on the attack now - can they stem the tide?
29 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths forge something in stone with Fa'alogo bursting through a number of defenders to score. Six the margin now. Conversion attempt by Issac Luke successful. Brisbane Broncos 10-6
31 min: From the return set after the try, Issac Luke kicks the ball out on the full - and Brisbane will get some precious field position in the final ten before halftime.
36 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Brisbane score a good try out wide through flu-stricken Justin Hodges, who now looks absolutely stuffed following the try. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis unsuccessful. Brisbane Broncos 14-6
39 min: INJURY - Brisbane Broncos Hodges is down now, Brisbane not looking good on the injury front. Looks to be a shoulder or arm injury to compound his sickness. He is staying on the field though for the final play of the half.
HALFTIME Brisbane Broncos 14 South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 Brisbane convincing leaders so far, for every one good deed Souths perform it seems there's three that send them backward. Brisbane are taking advantage from there, and it's only Ennis' poor kicking tonight that hasn't made this scoreline look ugly. For Brisbane Hodges looks like he should be rested in bed but he seems insistent on staying on the field, while Michaels has suffered an injury to the cruciate ligament and early prognosis suggest a season-ender for him. It's all uphill for Souths but should Brisbane suffer just one more injury in the second half, anything could happen. Stay tuned!
40 min: Second half commences
44 min: Eddie Paea makes a clean break for Souths but his offload to Nathan Merritt doesn't reap rewards when the flying winger makes a poor read and throws an impossible pass. Brisbane doing it easy in attack.
50 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Another good try, giving Denan Kemp an easy path to the line for a double. Brisbane looking to cruise now. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis successful. Brisbane Broncos 20-6
54 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Ennis crashes over for one of his own and now it looks as if the floodgates are beginning to open. Another dark night for the red and greens. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis successful. Brisbane Broncos 26-6
64 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs South Sydney finally hit back...it would appear too little too late against the Broncos although the more possession Souths get the more dangerous they look. Merritt the tryscorer. Conversion attempt by George Ndaira successful. Brisbane Broncos 26-12
72 min: TRY South Sydney Rabbitohs Souths finally making a game of it now with Merritt scoring under the posts - just seems to be not enough time left to rectify this for Souths. Margin drops to eight points with about 7 to go. Conversion attempt by Eddie Paea successful. Brisbane Broncos 26-18
77 min: Brisbane looking to wind down the clock but Souths really giving it their all. The question must be asked - where the spirit was in the Bunnies for the first 60 minutes?
80 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Fulltime strikes as Moon gets a double and wraps up proceedings here. Game over and Brisbane join the Titans albeit briefly atop the ladder. Conversion attempt by Michael Ennis successful. Brisbane Broncos 32-18