The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Brisbane have re-entered the winner's circle with a bruising 22-8 victory over a gallant Gold Coast Titans side in front of 31,380 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
In a game where the attrition was the name of the game rather than skill, Brisbane produced a few moments that wowed the crowd and blew away a Gold Coast outfit where injuries caught up with them in the end. Aidan Sezer and William Zillman both being taken from the field before time. It was one of Brisbane's formerly injured stars who shone.
The game could be classified as a slow burner with the opening twenty minutes featuring a solitary penalty goal to Aidan Sezer. The stop-start nature of the opening half shunted most of the attacking football as neither team could conjure an opening in the first thirty minutes of the contest.
When the points came though, it was in bunches. Brisbane struck first with Dale Copley getting across the stripe following a frivolous video referee intervention. It was a case of monkey see, monkey do as Gold Coast got their first four pointer from a similar sweeping movement that put Anthony Don in. His try gave the Titans an unlikely 8-4 lead which could have been ten if Beau Henry converted his penalty goal on halftime.
Once again it was slow to get going in the second half with both teams trying to win the field position game. Brisbane though were coming in waves and it wasn't long before the resolve of a game Gold Coast outfit was broken.
Right on the hour mark, it was the man of the hour - Justin Hodges who had been energetic all night produced a trick shot pass underneath his legs to put Dale Copley in for his brace. Brisbane were in the ascendency and could sense some for and against additions in the final twenty minutes of the contest.
In the end it became more of a when rathen than if Brisbane were going to add to the scoreline. Matt Gillett was the first across the stripe in the 63rd minute from a simple grubber through the line. Parker who took kicking duties from Ben Hunt after his first miss added a penalty goal in the 69th minute to put the lead out to six.
Fool them once shame on you, fool them twice - well the Titans were defeated. It was another grubber through the line with Jack Reed the one chasing through the line, putting it down with ease. Brisbane had broken the line and broken the Titan's spirit to claim a victory over their South East Queensland rivals 22-8.
The result will hurt more than just on the scoreboard for the Gold Coast side - Aidan Sezer was taken from the field with a shoulder injury deepening the halves crisis that is enveloping the side. Beau Henry may be called upon again next week against the New Zealand Warriors. Brisbane meanwhile head to Sydney to face Wests Tigers at Campbelltown (and would you believe it, not on Friday night!).
Brisbane Broncos 22 Gold Coast Titans 8
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Brisbane Broncos 4 Gold Coast Titans 8
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Ben Hunt
2 points - Justin Hodges
1 point - Paul Carter
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
GLD: More changes than a government legislation for the Titans here. Kevin Gordon, Albert Kelly and Ashley Harrison are OUT. Kalifa Fai Fai Loa goes to wing, Beau Henry to halfback and Paul Carter is promoted to lock. Matt Srama joins the bench with Ioane dropping off.
Welcome to Suncorp for the opening night of Women in League round! Tonight we have the second clash of the local rivals in South East Queensland, Brisbane hosting their neighbours from the Gold Coast. Brisbane will be smarting from their loss to a Thurston inspired North Queensland and will look to rectify that tonight. Gold Coast were overrun by a superior South Sydney side but with a swag of changes, will be trialing a new halves combination in Sezer and Henry which will hopefully produce some more attack.
Here come the teams onto Suncorp Stadium.. Titans were first out in their light blue and yellow jersey followed by the home side, Brisbane in their women in league inspired pink and maroon half jersey.
KICK-OFF! Here we go! Broncos with first use.
1: Early chance for the Titans after a Broncos error right on halfway.
2: PENALTY Titans - hand on the ball. They will tap and go.
3: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Brad Takairangi makes an unforced error.
Halves tried to get Takairangi one on one with his man but he spilled it.
7: Magic work from Benjamin Barba, he saw Beau Henry was aiming for the 40/20 jumped high to bat it back in to deny the halfback.
9: SIX MORE for the Titans with Hodges stripping it clear. Followed by a PENALTY for being offside.
10: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Aidan Sezer successful.
This time Gold Coast opt for the penalty goal. Sezer steps up and nails it.
12: PENALTY - It is Brisbane's first of the evening for the Gold Coast defenders being offside.
14: Good attack from the Broncos, Zillman had made a last gasp tackle on Barba meaning they were lacking on the short side. Hoffman sent it that way but Copley was rounded up. Referee right there and calls it held.
16: PENALTY Titans - that was sloppy from the Broncos. They had the Titans trapped and conceded a silly offside penalty.
17: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Mark Minichiello makes an unforced error.
Some good air given to the ball by the Titans but the run-around doesn't work as Minichiello is hammered and dropping the pill.
19: PENALTY BRISBANE - All Broncos now as they get a fortutious knock on on last with all the Titans offside.
20: Under pressure pushing down on the Titans. Brisbane got a PENALTY for a high shot, making in-roads but only forced a drop out.
22: Some relief for the away side. Hoffman's grubber went dead in goal.
24: It just isn't working well for the Titans - Beau Henry kicking out on the full.
25: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Ben Hunt makes an unforced error.
Ben was on the Hunt there for a TRY but he bobbled it and knocked it on.
26: PENALTY Titans - They are leading the count and the scoreboard thus far. This one was for offside.
27: A nice way to introduce yourself.. Jarrod Wallace on the field for seconds and completes a 1 on 1 strip.
30: Taylor with a mini suplex there to concede a PENALTY. While the referee is warning Henry, Sezer is walking off with his arm wrapped up.
31: VIDEO REFEREE: Dale Copley is claiming a TRY from a massive overlap.
31: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Dale Copley. Kick to come.
GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! There was no problem there ref! David Hala had sucked in the defense with a big run thus the shift to the right was inevitably resulting in a four pointer.
33: PENALTY Titans - markers weren't square.
35: TRY GOLD COAST TITANS
Scored by Anthony Don. Kick to come.
Well executed there from the Titans, they spied Vidot racing up gave it through the hands and sent Don in.
37: Broncos with some silly errors since the Titans try. Jarrod Wallace knocks down the kicker without the wrapping motion so it's a PENALTY. They opt for the points again.
38: UNSUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL GOLD COAST TITANS
Penalty goal attempt by Beau Henry unsuccessful.
Henry walks up and hooks it wide.
40: Mead slices through eying off the try-line but in finding Takairangi he spills it. HALFTIME.
41: Here come the Broncos for the second half, down by four.. looking to avoid the clean sweep from their rivals. Titans with first use.
42: A lovely little dinking kick there from the Broncos, forced Mead over the sideline. They will have a scrum ten metres out.
43: VIDEO REFEREE: Alex Glenn had a saloon passage there to stroll in after the overlap. We're going upstairs though, for an obstruction.
44: Yep RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! The ball runner went behind the decoy man.
52: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Justin Hodges makes an unforced error.
Broncos looked like they were running on a treadmill in that set! Hodges tried to pop a ball on his winger but spills it.
55: The Titans are dropping like flies here, Henry holding his shoulder but will be right to continue.
57: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Luke Douglas makes an unforced error.
Big hit by Lowrie dislodges it from Douglas. Here come the home side.
59: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful.
Parker has the duties now and doesn't curl it enough.
63: PENALTY Broncos and Reed takes the quick tap.. here we go!
62: Broncos are inspired now.. popping offloads like breath mints. They get lucky with a strip call here.
63: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Matt Gillett. Kick to come.
Once again, Broncos worked an overlap but Hunt goes for the kick instead of hands and Gillett is there to regather and score!
64: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Parker pilots this one through.
66: UNFORCED ERROR BRISBANE BRONCOS
Matt Gillett makes an unforced error.
Gillett was taken high and low being separated from the ball.
67: VIDEO REFEREE: A wonky old kick almost produces a result. Checking the contest and put down.
67: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Taylor or Srama knocked it on in the contest.
69: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL BRISBANE BRONCOS
Penalty goal attempt by Matt Gillett successful.
Broncos earn another penalty in close enough range. Parker slots it to give them an eight point lead.
72: UNFORCED ERROR GOLD COAST TITANS
Matt Srama makes an unforced error.
It's catch up footy for the Titans now.. Srama spills it.
74: VIDEO REFEREE: Jack Reed might have latched onto one here.
75: TRY BRISBANE BRONCOS
Scored by Jack Reed. Kick to come.
GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! Reed was onside and no problem with the put down!
76: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION BRISBANE BRONCOS
Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful.
Parker with a mid range conversion to put Brisbane fourteen ahead.. went straight down the middle.
77: Brisbane putting the razzle dazzle on now! Barba almost creating something out of thin air before Henry gathered it. Next tackle, Gillett forces a Titan in-goal.
77: SIX MORE.. plus a PENALTY. Broncos wanting to finish this in style.
78: Fai Fai Loa who has been anonymous tonight.. is forced to take another Barba kick in-goal.
80: FULL-TIME! Brisbane just muscled over the Titans in the second half here.