Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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Brisbane Broncos 4 v North Queensland Cowboys 36
The North Queensland Cowboys have poleaxed the Brisbane Broncos today Suncorp Stadium in a 36-4 thrashing. The historic victory marks the Cowboy?s first ever win over Brisbane in Brisbane and their highest ever margin over the Broncos.
The game began tenuously for Brisbane, with man of the match Jonathan Thurston looking dangerous before playing a hand in the first try for winger Matt Sing in the 8th minute. Things just kept getting worse for the Broncos from there, with tries in 10th, 16th and 29th minutes taking the game from the Broncos in sensational fashion.
Aaron Payne was devastating in this passage of play, breaking apart the Broncos through the middle of the ruck to set up tries for Matt Bowen and Thurston, making the Brisbane defence look second rate and heading to the change rooms at 24-0.
After an extended break, things didn?t get any easier with replacement Cowboy Neil Sweeney busting his way through the defence and scoring the visitors fifth try, making things very embarrassing for the home team. The 2005 runners-up seemed to be on a mission to destroy Brisbane and Thurston was leading the charge, scoring his third try of the day in the 59th minute to make the score 36-0. It was all too easy at that stage with a quarter of the match left to play.
But after a scheduled drinks break to allow for the searing heat in Brisbane, the Broncos were a steadier outfit and with 15 minutes left to play finally got on the board through debut winger Darius Boyd. Michael Ennis failed to convert from the sideline, breaking a 27 goal consecutive run.
The game petered from there, disappointing Cowboys fans who were no doubt eyeing off the 50-point mark, but it wasn?t to be. Perhaps they were overcome by the conditions. Nevertheless it was an extraordinary victory for the Cowboys and they head back to Townsville full of confidence for their clash with the Manly Sea Eagles.
For the Broncos, this couldn?t have come at a worse time. Coach Wayne Bennett seems to be under siege in his home town with former player Gorden Tallis telling him how he thinks things should be run and a host of people calling for his head. Last year the Brisbane coach controversially sacked his entire support staff and retired from the Australian coaching position. It?s certainly not the way he would have liked things to start out, but it?s a long season and a win next week against the Sharks.
Brisbane Broncos: 4
Tries: Darius Boyd
North Queensland Cowboys: 36
Tries: Matthew Bowen, Matt Sing, Jonathan Thurston(3), Neil Sweeney
Goals: Jonathan Thurston 6/7
Referee: Tony Archer
News coming out is that due to the heat in Brisbane, there will be a drinks break at the 20 minute mark and an extended halftime period. Both teams as per the program.
0 min: NEWS Another great day up here at Suncorp.
5 min: NEWS Both teams just sorting each other out in the opening exchanges here at Suncorp.
8 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Veteran winger Matt Sing goes over in the corner for the visitors, opening the scoring for the day. Thurston adds the extras.
10 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Aaron Payne makes a bust up the middle of the field and is supported by Thurston who finds Bowen and he races 50m to score under the posts. A huge opening stand by the Cowboys has the Broncos shocked. Thurston pots it from in front to ram home the advantage.
16 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Aaron Payne makes another huge bust up the middle of the Broncos ruck and finds back-up king Thurston again, who plants the ball under the black dot and Brisbane are in all sorts of trouble.
20 min: NEWS We're having a scheduled drinks break here at Suncorp. And I thought the cricket season was over!
25 min: PENALTY GOAL North Queensland Cowboys
Thurston lands a penalty goal to push them further in front.
29 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Thurston bags his second for the day as the Cowboys run riot in Bronco-Town. Thurston misses his first conversion for the day.
35 min: NEWS Some end to end action here as the Cowboys consolidate their enormous lead here at Suncorp Stadium.
40 min: NEWS And the Cowboys go to the break with an astounding 24-0 lead over Brisbane. An extended break will be taken.
41 min: NEWS And we're underway here in the second half after an extended period in the sheds, presumably to cut more oranges. The Broncos have a massive deficit to make up and could be on the end of a hiding here in front of their home crowd in the first game of the match.
45 min: NEWS The opening stages of the second half are seeing some exciting open play footy as the Broncos desperately try to get on the board. The Cowboys aren't taking a backward step though.
56 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Sweeney puts the Cowboys further in front with a smart try, and the score is becoming embarrassing for the Broncos. Thurston converts.
59 min: TRY North Queensland Cowboys
It's all too easy for the 2005 Dally M medalist and Qld halfback Jonathan Thurston, as he skips over from dummy half to rub salt into the wounds of the battered Broncos. Thurston converts.
60 min: NEWS We've got another drinks break here at Suncorp, with play set to resume in about 5 minutes. Lockyer is on the bench icing an apparent injury to his elbow.
63 min: NEWS Ty Williams narrowly misses scoring from a cross-field kick, then narrowly misses giving himself a serious neck injury.
66 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Quick hands from Hunt and Berrigan sees the Broncos get on the board through young winger Darius Boyd (on debut). Michael Ennis misses the goal from the sideline, ending a streak of 27 consecutive goals.
80 min: NEWS And the Cowboys have recorded an historic victory here over the Broncos, beating the home side for the first time in Brisbane and by their biggest ever margin. The Broncos certainly need to take a look at themselves after this inept performance.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Jonathan Thurston (Cowboys)
2 - Aaron Payne (Cowboys)
1 - Paul Bowman (Cowboys)