The New Zealand Warriors travelled to Suncorp Stadium to take on the Brisbane Broncos and a 48,943 strong Brisbane crowd in the qualifying finals, the Warriors left with a nervous wait after going down 40-10 to the Broncos.
The Warriors started strongly with ball in hand but fizzled out just as Brisbane hit their stride and once Brisbane took the lead, they never looked like turning back. Brisbane had a try disallowed in the 6th minute, but enjoyed the time in the Warriors' 20 and returned several times to put on some legitimate points.
The first half saw three tries awarded to the maroon and golds, the first to Alex Glenn in the 15th minute, then a try a piece to Jack Reed and Darren Lockyer in the 28th and 35th minutes respectively, Parker had a 100% conversion rate in the opening 40 to help Brisbane to an 18 nil half time lead.
The second half saw Brisbane continue their dominance with ball in hand and their visitors continue to slip with a plethora of errors which became contagious before they helped Warriors to find the try line. Brisbane put on the first points of the second half with a try to Corey Parker in the 51st minute
The Warriors never looked likely to stage a come back, but kept a victory in sights by scoring 2 consecutive tries at the beginning of the final quarter. Mateo scored in the 60th minute to offer the Warriors some hope and the boot of Maloney helped narrow the deficit to 18. Brisbane missed a penalty goal in the 64th minute before Vatuvei crossed for the Warriors' last points of the game.
Broncos hit back with a vengence in the last ten after a Vatuvei error gave them the prime opportunity to do so. Brisbane put on three tries in six minutes to help themselves to a 30 point victory. McCullough collected a 4 pointer in 71st minute, Hodges in the 74th and Beale in the 77th minute. Parkers' conversion rate helped Brisbane rack up 40 points.
Brisbane got their finals campaign off to the best of starts and Warriors have put themselves in an unenviable position on sweating on other results to determine whether they will live on. Brisbane played superbly while Warriors severely stuttered to get trampled 40 points to ten by their hosts.
Brisbane Broncos 40 defeated New Zealand Warriors 10
National Rugby League - Finals Week 1 - Saturday September 10, 2011 6:30pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Jared Maxwell and Shayne Hayne
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Ricky MacFarlane
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 24 New Zealand Warriors 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Alex Glenn (1 Try)
2 Points - Corey Parker (1 Try, 6 Conversions)
1 Point - Jack Reed (1 Try)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (40)
Tries: Justin Hodges, Darren Lockyer, Corey Parker, Andrew McCullough, Alex Glenn, Gerard Beale, Jack Reed
Conversions: Corey Parker (6/7)
Penalty Goals: Corey Parker (0/1)
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (10)
Tries: Manu Vatuvei, Feleti Mateo
Conversions: James Maloney (1/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening and welcome to Suncorp Stadium for League Unlimited's coverage of the second qualifying final of the 2011 finals series. The most anticipated match of the weekend will see the Brisbane Broncos take on the New Zealand Warriors.
TEAM NEWS: The Broncos are 1-17 as per programs. For the Warriors, just one change Lewis Brown in jumper 18 will play in place of Shaun Berrigan who is out.
1 min: Darren Lockyer kicks off to give the Warriors the first use of the football.
1 min: Strong opening set from the Warriors making it into the Broncos territory and Maloney places good pressure on makeshift fullback Beale.
2 min: Brisbane with similarly good go forward, muscle through to make some good metres.
3 min: The Warriors are creating some attacking opportunities early, finding good field position with each set.
4 min: Solid attack from the Broncos, but the Warriors' attack is looking the more threatening.
5 min: Kevin Locke knocks on as Warriors get into attacking range.
6 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Brisbane TRY.
6 min: NO TRY! After creating the scoring opportunity himself, Yow Yeh rolls the ball forward on the ground and has the try disallowed.
7 min: Warriors captain Simon Mannering appears to be in some trouble having done damage to his left knee.
8 min: Brisbane are beginning to dominate the attack and field position, Kevin Locke at the back fielding bombs superbly.
9 min: Brisbane receive the first PENALTY of the night against Mannering for holding down in the play the ball.
10 min: Brisbane turn over the opportunity with an error early in the count.
11 min: Warriors now having some trouble making metres whilst Brisbane appear to have gone up a gear particularly in defence.
12 min: Kevin Locke the most valuable player for Warriors thus far doing a superb job at the back.
14 min: Brisbane now looking the most likely and have this crowd right behind them.
14 min: Warriors had Brisbane an opportunity as Glenn intercepts a pass.
16 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Glenn collects an offload from Wallace and with eyes only for the line burrows over to score, Locke appears to have copped a knock in the face in the action. Parker converts.
Brisbane Broncos 6-0
18 min: Brisbane continue to threaten on the back of the try.
19 min: The Warriors get some ball but have lost a fair bit of momentum.
20 min: Lockyer gives the Warriors a great opportunity throwing a forward pass to offer the visitors some good field position.
21 min: The opportunity comes to nothing as Mannering throws a terrible pass that is intercepted.
22 min: Brisbane really controlling the game now and Vatuvei makes a real mess of cleaning up a bomb with it popping out 15 out to invite Brisbane right onto the attack.
23 min: Vatuvei makes a try saving tackle on Hodges which sees the Brisbane number 4 flick the ball out the sideline.
24 min: Warriors trying to play their way back into this game with a great set, but an almost perfect kick from Johnson just hits the dead ball line for a Brisbane 20 metre restart.
25 min: Broncos complete a set too now and look to be regaining control of the game.
25 min: Errors each way as both sides lose the ball on the first tackle.
27 min: Maloney turns the ball over near halfway.
29 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Gerard puts Reed in to score a very soft try walking through some flimsy right side defence from the Warriors. Conversion attempt from Parker successful.
Brisbane Broncos 12-0
31 min: Brisbane put in a weak set on the back of the try and the Warriors may have an opportunity to set themselves nicely into good field position.
31 min: But they turn the ball over just as they get into an attacking position.
32 min: Broncos are starting to do it easily now that they have a good lead.
33 min: PENALTY to the Broncos against Maloney for holding down in the play the ball.
34 min: Back to back PENALTIES to the Broncos for the same indiscretion, Packer is the man penalised this time.
36 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos!
Gillett dummies and finds his man Lockyer to put him in to score. Parker converts.
38 min: Locke has been great at the back for the Warriors and Brisbane have pt up an equally good kicking game to continue to challenge him.
39 min: The Warriors work hard to try to get points on the board before half time but come up empty.
40 min: Brisbane were handed six again 10 metres out in the final minute, but fail to capitalise on it finding the sideline with the ball to find the hooter.
40 min: That will be the half with Brisbane leading the Warriors 18 nil.