Brisbane outgun desperate Dragons

Suncorp Stadium played host to an engaging heritage round clash between the Brisbane Broncos and the St. George Illawarra Dragons where the home side were just too strong for their red and white visitors, taking the game 28-20.

This match came as a replay of Brisbane's first ever Grand Final appearance two decades ago. And just like that match 20 years ago, it was Brisbane who took home the gravy.

The opening passages promised a strong contest, but with ball in hand it was only the visitors who could deliver in the first half. The visitors were far more potent in defence than attack and as such, through errors and penalties helped ensure they spent most of the half defending.

Although the Dragons' defence was strong, the home attack proved just that little bit stronger, helping themselves to four first half tries and the maximum six points from each with Wallace doing it easy with the kicking tee in the first 40.

Brisbane opened their account with gun half Corey Norman in the 7th minute. Wallace was the next to score crossing in the 17th minute as Brisbane began to claim real dominance of the game. McCullough soon crossed through a brilliant dummy-half effort in the 23rd.

In the 35th minute, Alex Glenn crossed for Brisbane's last try of the half, which along with Peter Wallace's perfect first half conversion rate gave Brisbane a big fist half lead of 24 points to nothing which they took into the interval.

The second half offered an opportunity for redemption for the visitors and they were determined to take it. Brisbane proved gracious hosts, supporting the red and white attempts giving them an opportunity only Parramatta could squander, leading to their first try, a beautiful flying effort to Jason Nightingale in the 53rd minute.

Minutes later, the Dragons were over again, this time through a darting Kyle Stanley. From there, the Dragons began to gather momentum and give themselves a real chance of stealing the game. they did, however, use Brisbane assistance for their next try, kicking from the scrum to bamboozle the defence and give Brett Morris an easy passage.

Brisbane refused to face the possibility of defeat having come from their strong half time position. The Broncos then switched on for a super piece of Rugby League which found Gerard Beale to put on a wonderful try to Matt Gillett in the 70th. Wallace's goal-kicking form was, however, reversed in the second half and the Dragons were 12 points away.

The Dragons fiercely contested the ensuing minutes and put on a try through Matt Prior in the 75th, but when Soward had failed to convert, the game was all but out of reach for the visitors. Brisbane's hospitality ended there, as the single-mindedly determined to keep the game out of their guests' reach.

And just like the 1992 Grand Final being celebrated, the Broncos took home the spoils, this time taking down their red and white opposition 28 points to 20.

Match Details
Brisbane Broncos 28 defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 20
National Rugby League - Round 5 - Friday March 30, 2012 8:45pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Dave Abood and Michael Wise
Crowd: 38,012
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 24 St George Illawarra Dragons 0

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Ben Hannant
2 Points - Andrew McCullough (1 Try)
1 Point - Trent Merrin 

BRISBANE BRONCOS (28)
Tries: Matt Gillett, Peter Wallace, Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn, Corey Norman
Conversions: Peter Wallace (4/5)
Penalty Goals: Peter Wallace (0/1)

ST GEORGE ILLAWARRA DRAGONS (20)
Tries: Brett Morris, Jason Nightingale, Matt Prior, Kyle Stanley
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Suncorp Stadium for the second game of Heritage Round 2012, where the Brisbane Broncos will take on the Saint. George Illawarra Dragons.
The Toyota Cup Curtainraiser saw the Dragons' under 20s team take out a high scoring affair, downing the baby Broncos 42-34.
TEAM NEWS: The Broncos are 1-17 as per program. Just one superficial change to the Dragons; Dean Young will come off the bench with Jeremy Latimore starting in the lock position.
Join the conversation - follow LeagueUnlimited on Twitter and tweet about the match using the Official Hashtag #NRLbristi.
1 min: Game on: Brisbane kick off and the Dragons have the first use of the football.
4 min: Solid start to the match from both sides, and it is the Broncos who have put on a couple of attacking plays to finish their sets.
6 min: First error of the night goes against the Dragons and Brisbane will have an excellent attacking opportunity with a scrum 35 out.
7 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Brisbane TRY.
8 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Corey Norman has grounded it and he gets the green light to claim the first try of the match. Peter Wallace converts.
Brisbane Broncos 6-0
10 min: PENALTY. The first penalty of the night goes the way of the Dragons to help them past halfway.
11 min: And the Dragons turn the ball over near halfway to give Brisbane another good opportunity.
12 min: St. George Illawarra compound their error by conceding a PENALTY.
12 min: The Dragons are afforded some charity by the Brisbane captain who turns the ball over about ten out from the Dragons' line.
16 min: The Dragons continue to hand their hosts opportunities, but are doing just enough in defence not to increase the deficit.
19 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
The Red and White defence just can't hold on and Peter Wallace picks out the defender to walk over the top of. Wallace converts his own try.
Brisbane Broncos 12-0
21 min: The visitors had an opportunity but just didn't know what to do with it, so they threw the ball out to a ball boy to see if he could help them.
24 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
McCullough dummies out of dummy half on the last and finds his way under the posts for a TRY. Conversion attempt from Wallace successful.
Brisbane Broncos 18-0
25 min: McCullough! Can't set a foot wrong. Nails a 40/20.
27 min: Good on line defence keeps Brisbane out.
28 min: Smart bomb and Dragons find six again right on the Brisbane line.
29 min: Fierce Brisbane defence won't give the visitors who looked certain to score an inch.
29 min: PENALTY to the Broncos for a piggy back up field.
31 min: Right on cue, Dragons make another handling error.
34 min: The Dragons manage to concede an error in defence and they cannot wait til half time.
37 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Brisbane are in again. Two long passes and Alex Glenn is too good and too strong for the St. George Illawarra defence. And Wallace nails his most difficult conversion of the night.
Brisbane Broncos 24-0
39 min: A great tackle from de Belin and Thaiday offers some more charity to his visitors.
40 min: The home defence refuses to be similarly charitable as Morris is bundled into touch courtesy of a big hit from Ben Hunt.
40 min: Dragons are finally offered a reprieve as the half time hooter blows. Brisbane lead 24 points to nil.
41 min: Second half under way.
42 min: PENALTY to the Dragons for an early opportunity to undo some of the first half damage.
43 min: Dragons get the second best result from their foray into the Brisbane red zone by earning a repeat set by forcing the line drop out.
44 min: Soward gets ahead of himself and loses the ball before he completes his plans for it.
45 min: PENALTY and another Dragons error is compounded by the concession of a penalty.
46 min: Brisbane make it all the way to the St. George Illawarra line before turning over the ball themselves.
48 min: Another turn over from Thaiday who is being too gracious a host here.
50 min: PENALTY to the Dragons, late challenge from T'eo and if the Dragons can't score here, they'll never score.
53 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons!
Great ball work from the Dragons who get the ball out to Nightingale who is literally airborn before grounding the ball just inside the right corner post. Soward almost pulls off an impossible conversion but it hits the post and bounces back in field.
Brisbane Broncos 24-4
57 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons
Superb little pass from Ben Hornby and Kyle Stanley darts in untouched. A simpler conversion for Soward and he adds the extras.
Brisbane Broncos 24-10
60 min: It's a wonder what completed sets have done for the Dragons who have picked up a gear and gathered momentum in the last quarter.
62 min: It's Brisbane failing to complete their sets here.
63 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible St. George Illawarra TRY.
63 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons!
Soward goes for a kick off the back of the scrum and Brett Morris flies though to gather the ball uncontested and ground it for a TRY. Soward nails an easy conversion.
Brisbane Broncos 24-16
67 min: Errors both ways and Broncos get a reprieve and a chance to seal the game.
68 min: A not played at call gives the Dragons a scrum.
68 min: Dragons error hands Brisbane another opportunity.
71 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Incredible bit of rugby league from the Broncos, the ball goes out to Beale who grubbers in goal for Gillett who scores a beautiful TRY. A difficult conversion attempt for Wallace and he just misses.
Brisbane Broncos 28-16
73 min: Desperate Dragons earn a repeat set on the Broncos line.
74 min: A mistake from Brisbane in trying to collect a bomb and the Dragons are attacking from a couple of metres out.
76 min: TRY
TRY to the Dragons!
The Brisbane defence begins to tire and Prior finds his way over. Soward just skews the conversion attempt.
Brisbane Broncos 28-20
79 min: Desperation from both sides and Brisbane have all but clinched this.
80 min: Brisbane have won a scrum against the feed.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
PENALTY to the Broncos and Brisbane collect an opportunity to add an extra two to their for and against. Wallace however does not collect the two and produces a terrible attempt.
Brisbane Broncos 28-20
80 min: And that will be all she wrote. Brisbane have taken the match 28 points to 20.

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