NRL crowds were a major talking point out of the media following Round 1, however the Queensland supporters turned out in droves with a healthy 42,303 watching on at Suncorp Stadium.
North Queensland returned fire minutes later as James Tamou provided the offload to Johnathan Thurston who used his fancy footwork to notch up the Cowboys first points. After 16 minutes, the match was locked up at 6-all.
Josh McGuire was heavily involved for the Broncos and his actions saw him twice placed on report. The first incident saw him penalised for a swinging arm high tackle on Gavin Cooper in the 17th minute.
Shortly before the break, Brisbane struck the lead again as former Dragon, Daniel Vidot cleaned up a well placed grubber kick from Josh Hoffman. The Broncos used their set plays to perfection as they took a 10-6 lead into half time.
The Cowboys did not take long to click into gear as Gavin Cooper swooped on a loose ball knocked down by Kyle Feldt off a cross field kick from Robert Lui. North Queensland once again locked the game up, 10-all after 49 minutes.
Josh McGuire's second indiscretion saw him once again placed on report and penalised. McGuire made contact with the legs of Robert Lui as he kicked on the last tackle. The penalty set up Thurston for a penalty goal which gave the Cowboys a 12-10 lead after 53 minutes.
Both teams crossed the white wash in five minutes, however on both occasions they were denied by officials. In a tight contest, the pressure mounted with mistakes building as the match headed into the final 10 minutes of play.
The pressure finally cracked as Man of the Match, Sam Thaiday busted the Cowboys defence open to place them on the back foot. Andrew McCullough finished off the play which saw him sail away from the chasers to post the match winning try for the Broncos.
There was a flicker of hope for the Cowboys in the final minute as Thurston earned a line drop out after a strong line attack. However, it was in vain as the line drop out was contained by the Broncos defence.
After a brilliant 80 minutes of football, the Broncos ended victors, 16-12.
Next week the Broncos will hope to make it two straight victories at home as the host the Sydney Roosters, while the Cowboys return Townsville to battle the New Zealand Warriors at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Brisbane Broncos 16 North Queensland Cowboys 12
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 42303Halftime Score:
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Sam Thaiday
2 points - Corey Parker
1 point - Gavin Cooper
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Welcome to LeagueUnlimited's LIVE coverage for the first game out of Suncorp Stadium for the 2014 season.
TEAM CHANGES for this match:
Broncos are unchanged and will line-up, 1-17.
We are minutes away from kick off at Suncorp Stadium as the Cowboys are lead out by captain Johnathan Thurston
1: We are UNDERWAY at Suncorp Stadium as the Cowboys kick off
3: Forward pass ruled against the Cowboys from Ray Thompson out of dummy half. Scrum for the Broncos 10 metres short of halfway
6: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Matt Gillett. Kick to come.
Matt Gillett has swept between the defence off a brilliant inside pass form Ben Barba. Brisbane strike first as they capitalise on the opportunity.
9: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Matt Gillett makes an unforced error.
Matt Gillett looking to take the offload from Lachlan Maranta as the Broncos put up a bomb on the last tackle. However the Cowboys with the ball on the zero tackle
11: Ben Hunt dives on a loose pass from the Cowboys and the Broncos go back on the attack on halfway. Brisbane on top at the moment.
12: Ben Barba with a soft touch grubber kick on the last tackle slots it between the Cowboys defence as he looked to set up Jack Reed for the Broncos second try. However, the ball just bouncing too far dead and a zero tackle 20 metre tap is called for North Queensland.
13: Josh McGuire is penalised for leg pull and Thurston takes a quick tap and the Cowboys jump ahead to just 10 metres short of the Broncos try line
13: VIDEO REFEREE for the Cowboys, Michael Morgan has dived over the goal line. It looked okay but the referee says NO TRY.
14: NO TRY for Michael Morgan as he was held up over the goal line by three Broncos defenders. Back to the 10 metre line on the fourth tackle for the Cowboys.
15: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Johnathan Thurston. Kick to come.
Johnathan Thurston running a line off a brilliant offload from James Tamou sees him dart over the try line untouched. The Cowboys firing as the Broncos covering defence fails to close the play down.
16: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Johnathan Thurston slots the goal to convert his own four-pointer from next to the uprights to lock the game up.
18: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Kane Linnett makes an unforced error.
Kane Linnett has fumbled the ball as he tried to play the ball while being crowded on the goal line. Broncos with a scrum feed 10 metres off their try line.
19: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Josh Hoffman makes an unforced error.
Josh Hoffman has fumbled a long pass from Ben Hunt as the Broncos looked to spread left across the field. Cowboys come up with a scrum feed on their 30 metre line
22: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Ray Thompson makes an unforced error.
Ray Thompson unable to hold onto possession as he was handled in a tackle of two including Ben Hannant. Scrum for Brisbane now 10 metres short of halfway
25: Antonio Winterstein with a leaping catch off the bomb from Ben Hunt, following it immediately was a penalty for a hold down from Lachlan Maranta. Cowboys with a help up field to attack 10 metres short of halfway
26: Lachlan Maranta with a beautiful jump off the goal line defused the kick from Thurston has he looked to set up Linnett for the Cowboys second try. Broncos with the ball on the goal line.
29: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Ben Hannant makes an unforced error.
Ben Hannant spills the ball as he was taken to ground from behind by Tariq Sims. Scrum sets for the Cowboys 40 metres from the Broncos try line
33: Time off here with Brent Tate down grabbing at his ankle. Hopefully it's not too serious
33: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Jason Taumalolo makes an unforced error.
Jason Taumalolo drops the ball as he attempts to stand and play the ball in the ruck. Brisbane with a scrum going down 20 metres out from their own line.
34: Penalty to the Broncos for a hold down in the ruck. Cowboys lead the count 4-3
35: ZERO TACKLE for the Broncos as the Cowboys jumped quickly to shut down the play.
35: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Daniel Vidot. Kick to come.
Daniel Vidot has jumped off a beautiful grubber from Josh Hoffman, the Broncos spreading to the left of the field to set up a try in the corner.
37: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.
Corey Parker with the conversion attempt from the eastern side of Suncorp Stadium fails with the goal to extend the lead for Brisbane
39: Thurston rushing a play on the 3rd tackle, his kick bounces ahead of everyone and finds the sideline. Scrum for the Broncos just before half time
40: HALF TIME at Suncorp Stadium: Broncos 10 lead Cowboys 6
40: Second half is UNDERWAY at Suncorp Stadium as Corey Parker kicks off, Sims takes the catch and takes the first hit up
43: Ben Barba watches the kick go dead off the boot of the Cowboys, 20 metre tap is given as a result.
45: Penalty to the Cowboys on halfway for a hold down in the ruck. Thurston finds the sideline which gives the Cowboys a set start on the 30 metre line.
46: Rory Kostjasyn takes a dive over the goal line after getting stuck for options, last tackle is called as the retire back to the 10 metre line.
47: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Michael Morgan makes an unforced error.
Michael Morgan fumbles the ball on the last tackle as he was unable to come up with the ball from Jason Taumalolo. Broncos with possession now on the 1st tackle 10 metres off their own line.
47: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Dale Copley makes an unforced error.
Dale Copley looking to get the play running as the Broncos spread to the eastern side but the ball goes to ground. Scrum for North Queensland, 10 metres inside the Broncos half.
48: VIDEO REFEREE for the Cowboys, we have a TRY for Gavin Cooper. Looking at the contest in the lead up as Cooper dived over the goal line.
48: TRY NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Scored by Gavin Cooper. Kick to come.
Gavin Cooper swoops on a loose ball as Kyle Felt knocked down the cross field kick from Robert Lui. The Cowboys lock the score up at 10-all with a kick to come from Thurston
49: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston unsuccessful.
Johnathan Thurston from the western side of Suncorp Stadium, 10 metres in from touch strikes it well but he fails to fail the conversion
50: Josh McGuire is ON REPORT for the second time tonight as he took out the legs of Rob Lui has kicked on the last tackle. Thurston will opt for the penalty goal here.
50: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston slots the penalty goal without mistake to give the Cowboys give the lead
55: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Ben Barba makes an unforced error.
Ben Barba unable to take the late pass from Josh Hoffman. Cowboys come up with possession, however there is some concern for Josh Hoffman who is limping.
56: Penalty to the Broncos, they kick ahead and attack on halfway
57: Jack Reed is taken over the sideline as the Broncos spread quickly across to the right, Brisbane looking for a try down the sideline but the Cowboys defence holding.
58: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Kyle Feldt makes an unforced error.
Kyle Feldt fumbles the ball and the Broncos will come up with possession to get another shot at the line. However, before the scrum the players have all come together. A lot of pushing, no punches thrown.
58: Referee called in both captains and given them a warning. Play continues with a scrum feed for the Broncos 20 metres out from the Cowboys goal line.
58: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Johnathan Thurston makes an unforced error.
Johnathan Thurston jumped the attack and almost came up with an intercept as the pass from Hoffman to Sam Thaiday was taken. Scrum to Brisbane 10 metres out
63: UNFORCED ERROR NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS
Jason Taumalolo makes an unforced error.
Jason Taumalolo drops the ball as the Cowboys passed quickly through three sets of hands. Brisbane come up with possession 15 metres short of halfway
64: Penalty to the Cowboys as Sam Thaiday was always inside the 10 metres from the bomb kick. Cowboys on the attack inside the Broncos half.
65: Ben Barba forces the ball dead off the short kick from Rob Lui in goal. Line drop out is called for the Cowboys, they earn a repeat set.
66: VIDEO REFEREE for the Cowboys, Kane Linnett as dived over in the corner...but we have NO TRY from referee
67: NO TRY! Kane Linnett gets RED LIGHTS as he dropped the ball over the goal line in the tackle of three Broncos defenders. 20 metre tap ruled for Brisbane.
69: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Dale Copley makes an unforced error.
Dale Copley almost coming up with the caught off the knock down from Maranta who jumped high off the kick from Barba. Cowboys with possession 20 metres off the Broncos line.
70: Thurston comes up with a brilliant play as he deflected the grubber from Ben Barba, he got the lucky bounce and streaked away 25 metres before being wrapped up. Cowboys on the front foot as the march up to halfway
71: Kick from the Broncos rolls a metre short of the corner post, scrum packs for the Cowboys
74: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Andrew McCullough. Kick to come.
Andrew McCullough finishes off a brilliant run from Dale Copley and the Broncos hit the lead as they spread quickly to the eastern side.
75: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Corey Parker slots the conversion to extend their lead over the Cowboys to four points. The Broncos managed to crack the Cowboys defence and put them on the back foot to reclaim the lead as we head into the final minutes of play.
77: Inside the final three minutes at Suncorp and we have the Broncos on the attack on halfway
78: ZERO TACKLE for the Cowboys, the Broncos jumped quickly as Winterstein got a hand to the pass. Cowboys attack 30 metres out
79: Thurston hit and spin over the goal line but he loses the ball backward and it's grounded in goal by the Broncos. Line drop out for the Cowboys, they will have one chance at the goal line.