Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
22 hours ago
In a game riddled with errors and ruled by defence, Broncos took out a very low scoring affair with the Dragons.
A 42,269 strong crowd packed Suncorp Stadium on a beautiful, Brisbane Sunday afternoon. Despite the wonderful conditions the game was dictated by errors, but strong defensive displays from both sides made point scoring difficult.
The first half had no semblance of flow, with errors and penalties dominating the play. Several point scoring opportunities went begging, with the execution of plays problematic particularly for the Dragons.
The first points of the match finally came in the 31st minute with Lockyer setting up Folau to work some magic and open the scoring.
The first half finished with an error count of 7 to 4 in disfavour of the Dragons and a penalty count of 4 a piece.
The second half started where the first half finished off, with penalties and errors and continued in similar vein.
The defence reamined strong and there were some stunning aerial displays, with the bomb diffusals providing most of this particularly dull game's entertainment.
Point scoring again only came late in the half, with the first points of the second half coming in the 72nd minute. Again at the hands of Israel Folau, this time off the hands off a less tahn perfect bomb diffusion from Brett Morris. Parker converted this time, giving the Broncos a ten point buffer and making a Dragons revival all the more unlikely.
More errors followed, but the Dragons were finally able to put points on the board on the back of a scrum in the 78th minute. A Brett Morris dash to the line gave the Dragons their first points, and quick conversion gave them enough time for one last set.
But, it was too little too late for the Dragons, who again failed to complete the set, with Cooper dropping the ball and Broncos taking a really tight game 10-6.
The defence from both sidewas brilliant, but winning the game was a matter of putting points on the board and more than their 12 unforced errors, that is where Dragons really dropped the ball.
Brisbane Broncos 10 defeated St George Illawarra Dragons 6
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 21 - Sunday August 1, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Gavin Badger and Ashley Klein
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Adam Devcich and Russell Turner
Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 4 St George Illawarra Dragons 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Israel Folau (2 Tries)
2 Points - Josh Hoffman
1 Point - Darren Lockyer
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Suncorp stadium for what looks to be a cracking match, beautiful conditions at Suncorp with the crowd building really nicely.
Broncos are unchanged for this match.
A few changes for the Dragons, Dean Young is out, Beau Scott moves from the centres to lock. Mark Gasnier will be starting in the centres. A couple of superficial changes as well with Trent Merrin and Jeremy Smith to start the match with Prior and Green starting on the bench.
Broncos took out the NYC game this afternoon in a tight one, taking the game 20 - 18.
1 min: Lockyer kicks off to the northern end. A penalty to the Dragons for a rake in the first play of the match.
2 min: Dragons get a repeat set in Broncos territory, but it ended with Boyd spilling the beans from a Glenn tackle.
5 min: Dragons seeing a lot of Broncos territory early making it within 40 of the Broncos line on the first play.
7 min: The errors are starting to flow from the Dragons - their completeions now 2/5, but strong defence is keeping the Broncos out, a beautiful tackle sees Folau forced out the sideline a metre out from the Dragons line.
12 min: Dragons with a chance in the air, but Gasnier drops it, not an easy catch though.
15 min: A high tackle on Beau Scott gives the Dragons a fortuidous penalty, but it comes to nothing as Cooper couldn't get hands on a kick downfield.
17 min: Another penalty, this to the Broncos for Dragons offside, whistle has been out a fair bit in this one, both sides have conceded a few, penalty count 3 a piece.
19 min: Another penalty to the Broncos, this one seemed a bit milked and Hornby complains to the referee, fortunately for the Red V, the Broncos try went begging as Alex Glenn knocked it on over the tryline.
22 min: more errors, not much flow to this game with lots of errors and penalties from both sides early.
24 min: Dragons completing at around 50% with another error, fantastic defence is preventing the plethora of errors from hurting them.
27 min: A penalty to the Dragons gives them good field position and a shot at the Broncos' line, let's see if they can complete the set.
29 min: Dragons complete a set, but it lands in the hands of Folau who makes a break, and Broncos get a penalty at the end of it with Dragons offside
31 min: TRY
TRY to the Broncos, who convert all their possession to points. Lockyer gets a pinpoint pass onto Folau and some individual brilliance sees Folau's fancy footwork give Broncos the first points of the game. A huge right hand fend on Josh Morris makes way for Folau's try. Conversion attempt from Corey Parker unsuccessful.
Brisbane Broncos 4-0
35 min: Broncos see all the ball post try, but Dragons defending really well to keep them out.
40 min: An uneventful end to an uneventful half. The error count for the half, has Dragons on 7 and Broncos on 4. Penalties 4 a piece.
41 min: Dragons get the second half underway.
44 min: It has taken about 3 minutes for the first penalty of the second half, this one to the Dragons
47 min: Dragons with a good shot at the Broncos line, nicely set in Broncos territory, and another penalty to the Dragons gives then the best chance they've had all match
video referee for a possible Dragons try to Ben Creagh
49 min: Decision didn't take long, no try, double movement
53 min: Another Penalty, this one to the Broncos, penalties now two a piece for the second half and six a piece for the match
55 min: The bomb diffusal in this match has been beautiful, some AFL style marks being taken here. And Gasnier gets taken off the field, replaced by Emmett. Gaz has worked hard this match, both with the ball and in defence.
58 min: Strong defence and great tackles on the Broncos line is keeping the Dragons out
61 min: another error, this one from the Broncos, knocked on by Yow Yeh
64 min: A chance for the Dragons off another Broncos error
66 min: some vintage Lockyer play as he makes a break which threatens the tryline with support, but a knock on by Winterstein ends the play
68 min: Dragons go on the attack, but a nice run ends in an error
video referee for a possible Broncos try
72 min: TRY
Another try to Israel Folau, this time off a failed bomb diffusion knocked on by Morris. Conversion successful by Corey Parker.
Brisbane Broncos 10-0
74 min: Dragons go for a short kick off which ends very badly, with them getting pinged for offside, but yet another Broncos error gives the Dragons the ball and puts them on the attack
74 min: another error from Beau Scott, his personal count now at 3. Dragons with 12, Broncos 9
78 min: TRY
TRY, Dragons finally get their first, a nice run on the back of a scrum sees Morris put the Dragons on the board. Soward doesn't even take his headgear off for the conversion, and still manages to slot it in nicely
Brisbane Broncos 10-6
79 min: Broncos eat up the clock before finally kicking off after eating up nearly 40 seconds
80 min: An entertaining end to the battle, but a dropped ball from Cooper ends the final play and Broncos take the match 10 - 6
80 min: Broncos take the game 10 - 6. And the final error count is 13 to the Dragons, nine to the Broncos, with improved completion rates in the second half. Penalties finish at 7 - 6 to the Broncos