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Broncos steamroll Panthers in opening round
Match Summary The Brisbane Broncos have today run roughshod over a weak and ill-disciplined Penrith side, victorious by 48-12 at Suncorp Stadium.
On a day where points were easy to come by for the home side, Bronco forward Corey Parker managed a 24-point haul including a 10/10 record goal tally. The match also marked Darren Lockyer's return from a knee injury, and he masterfully guided his side around the park after coming off the bench in the 20th minute.
The home side opened the scoring early with a Corey Parker penalty goal - the Broncos exploiting Penrith's poor discipline with two-pointers a total of three times throughout the game. The Broncos went on to score through Darius Boyd to edge in further front before Penrith returned serve with a Nathan Smith try, but from there onwards it was all Brisbane.
The Broncos added a further 40 points from here, leading 22-6 at the halftime break with tries scored by Greg Eastwood and then a second for Darius Boyd. Darren Lockyer added his contribution after the break as did Justin Hodges and Corey Parker, while Boyd managed his first career hat-trick in the second half also.
Penrith's only saving grace then came from a Jarrod Sammut intercept, the five-eighth cutting a lonely figure as he ran alone toward the posts to push the Panthers to double figures in what was a forgettable afternoon for those donning the black jersey.
The victory sets the scene for a bumper Friday night clash for Brisbane as they travel to the SFS against the Roosters, while Penrith will come home to host Canberra in what could be an early preview of the battle for the wooden spoon.
The biggest concerns in Queensland for the maroon and gold appeared to be Joel Clinton, who suffered ligament damage, as well as a swag of players including Karmichael Hunt and Corey Parker who both finished the match gingerly.
Match Details Round 1 - Full Time :: March 16th, 2008 2:00pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Referee: Gavin Badger
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Suncorp Stadium is the venue for this afternoon's clash between two teams who swapped props over the off-season - Joel Clinton and Petero Civoniceva now donning opposing colours as they go toe-to-toe in this opening round stoush.
On the team list front, Penrith will take the field with just minor alterations - Jarrod Sammut is back to the bench, Nathan Smith moves to five-eighth and Frank Pritchard comes off the bench to start at lock; while for Brisbane Michael Ennis has pulled out injured, PJ Marsh to join the side starting at hooker, Shane Perry in #19 replacing him on the bench. Darren Lockyer's big return after a long stint on the bench is sure to be a big talking point and focus today - he'll be starting off the bench with David Stagg starting in his place.
Kickoff is 2:00pm NSW time (1:00pm QLD time). Penrith have come up victorious in the Toyota Cup Under 20's fixture, defeating the hosts Brisbane 28-24.
Teams getting ready to take the field now, the Broncos wearing their white away strip to combat the heat, forcing Penrith into their predominantly black home strip. Gavin Badger will be the referee. Kickoff minutes away...
0 min: KICK-OFF We're underway and it's Petero Civoniceva with a spectacular first hit-up, Penrith running right to left.
8 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Darius Boyd scores a try for the Broncos and they really are looking powerful early - even without Darren Lockyer. Corey Parker converts with ease from out wide. Brisbane Broncos 8-0
13 min: Penrith manage their first attacking set and after a few promising moments they're let down by a poor fifth tackle option from Joe Williams. Brisbane working the ball back upfield now.
15 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Penrith strike back through lock Nathan Smith as they narrow the gap to two, simple passing seeing them fly through the Broncos defensive line for that four pointer. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams successful. Brisbane Broncos 8-6
20 min: Broncos captain Darren Lockyer finally returns to the field after an almost year-long battle with injury. Suncorp Stadium raises a massive cheer for the Australian captain.
26 min: Darius Boyd gets Brisbane out of jail with a sensational run out of the in-goal area. Penrith fumbling alot of ball and Brisbane just starved for field position so far in this battle.
27 min: VIDEO REFEREE Brisbane Broncos.... it's a TRY!
28 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Greg Eastwood is awarded a mess of a try as five players fumble over a Peter Wallace grubber before the four pointer is planted by Eastwood. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 14-6
34 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos Points are flying thick and fast here as a tackle on Bronco hooker PJ Marsh goes on just a little too long and the home side are awarded an easy two pointer. Parker now 4/4 with the boot. Brisbane Broncos 16-6
39 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Darius Boyd steals an easy-as-you-like intercept on his own 10m-line and runs 90 metres to score and put a massive dent in Penrith's confidence. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 22-6
HALFTIME Brisbane Broncos 22 Penrith Panthers 6 A thoroughly dominant first half from Brisbane, making the most of their opportunities when they came, while Penrith, despite the addition of big Petero simply look the same error-prone and ill-disciplined side from 2007. Brisbane certainly have the upper hand so far - it should be interesting to see which direction this match takes in the second 40.
SECOND HALF is underway.
43 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos More niggle in the tackle earns Brisbane another easy two points. Penrith looking no better in this second half as Parker puts the ball not through the posts - but hits an upright as Brisbane take an 18 point lead. Brisbane Broncos 24-6
45 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The floodgates are opening at Suncorp, Darren Lockyer scoring on return for Brisbane and putting the result beyond reasonable doubt early in the half. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 30-6
52 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Easy stuff for Brisbane as Hodges puts it down beneath the posts after a great break from Karmichael Hunt. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 36-6
56 min: VIDEO REFEREE Brisbane Broncos.... Decision pending... No try.
58 min: Brisbane finally forced to do some defending - Penrith now with back-to-back sets on the Brisbane line.
63 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos A milestone try with Darius Boyd managing his first career hat-trick and Corey Parker equalling the record for most goals in a match for Brisbane as the Broncos continue to destroy the visitors, Darren Lockyer starring in his comeback. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 42-6
68 min: VIDEO REFEREE Brisbane Broncos... Decision pending... it's a TRY!
69 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Parker adds himself to the list of tryscorers and then goes on to take the record for most goals in a match for Brisbane on his lonesome with his 10th goal from as many attempts. Brisbane Broncos 48-6
72 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Penrith five-eighth scores one of the loneliest looking tries after picking up a Lockyer intercept, nobody is within 50 metres of him as he crosses the stripe and nabs a consolation four-pointer. Conversion attempt by Joe Williams successful. Brisbane Broncos 48-12
76 min: INJURY UPDATE. Joel Clinton (BRI) earlier suffering ligament damage and now Karmichael Hunt looks like he's suffered some sort of injury as well... this big win coming at a big cost for Brisbane, although they'll be happy to see Lockyer has made it through unscathed.
79 min: A scrappy finish with both teams dropping plenty of ball and a lot of Broncos limping around... Hunt, Parker, Thaiday, Clinton all picking up some bruises so far...
FULLTIME Brisbane Broncos 48 Penrith Panthers 12 A solid and inspiring early season victory for Brisbane, although injuries could cruel them in future weeks. Penrith meanwhile looking the same poorly disciplined side and just as error prone as the 2007 model. Petero Civoniceva slugged his guts out but barely a single Panther around him could rally. Congratulations go to Corey Parker, now he holds the record for most goals in a match for Brisbane.