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A late field goal from Karmichael Hunt has downed the Tigers 19-18 in an end to end spectacle at Suncorp Stadium. Despite the Tigers dominance for large periods of the game, the Broncos somehow hung on for a priceless victory.
The game started off scrappily for both sides as the greasy Suncorp Stadium surface proved too much for the players and there was a lot of spilt ball early on. Chris Heighington set up the first try for Brett Hodgson in the fifth minute with a great bust and offload. Hodgson converted to make it 6-0.
A couple of penalties to Brisbane, one converted to two points, and a 17th minute try to Joel Moon gave the Broncos the lead at 8-6. Moon stepped through some feeble defence from ten metres out and showed good strength to force his way over left of the uprights.
This spurred the Tigers team on and for the rest of the half they looked the side most likely to score. Shannon McDonnell made a great 65 metre bust in the 33rd minute only to leave his support scratching their heads as he held on to the ball. To then compound matters he pulled a hamstring and played no further part in the match. The Tigers did however score in the 35th minute through a penalty goal to Brett Hodgson, then a try to Halatau in the left corner on the last play of the half. This came about from a miraculous pass from Matthew Head who straightened the play, then flicked an inch perfect 25 metre pass to Halatau who went over.
The Tigers played like they were in a different class to the Broncos for the first ten minutes of the second half but were unable to put the Broncos away despite a strong showing by debutante Daine Lawrie. This was the point when David Taylor pounced on the loose ball and made the break that eventually led to the Denan Kemp try. The Tigers then kicked out on the full and the Broncos made them pay immediately with a try to Nick Kenny.
The Tigers then drew level when Dean Collis made a bust down the right wing and kicked back infield for Liam Fulton to score under the posts. A frantic last 15 minutes saw some great goal line defence from the Broncos and the video ref correctly deny what would have been the match winning try to Nick Emmett.
It was left to Karmichael Hunt to kick the winning field goal in the 73rd minute, and the Broncos held on despite a John Morris attempt that skewed just to the left of the uprights.
So a priceless win for the Broncos after an ordinary month of football sees them move to 18 points and gives them some much needed breathing space. The Tigers will be wondering where it all went wrong after such a strong showing in the middle section of the game.
Despite this, it was a much improved Tigers outfit and Tim Sheens will take a lot of positives out of the match.
Brisbane Broncos 19
Tries: Joel Moon, Denan Kemp, Nick Kenny
Field Goals: Karmichael Hunt (1/1)
Goals: Michael Ennis (3/3), (0/1)
Wests Tigers 18
Tries: Brett Hodgson, Dene Halatau, Liam Fulton
Goals: Brett Hodgson (3/3), (0/1)
Good evening all and welcome to Suncorp Stadium for League Unlimited