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Lockyer brilliance inspires Broncos win over Titans
Played in front of 39,757 people at Suncorp Stadium, the match went into golden point extra time after the scores were locked up at 21-all after 80 minutes of football. Eastwood's try broke the deadlock in the 85th minute following a number long range field goal attempts.
In the nail-biting stages before regular full time, the Titans locked up the score board at 20-all before a Lockyer field goal put the home side one point ahead with just four minutes remaining. But Titans' half back Scott Prince potted a field two minutes later to level the scores again and send the match into extra time.
In the end, Lockyer proved the difference. While lining up to have another shot at field goal from 45-metres out, the Broncos' skipper sighted space down his left flank and opted to put centre Joel Moon into a gap. Lockyer brilliantly backed up again on the inside before finding Eastwood in support to post the match-winner.
In a match of two halves, the Titans dominated possession for much of the first stanza after conceding a soft try to Broncos' forward Joel Clinton in the opening minutes. While controlling the ruck and putting together a near excellent completion rate, the visitors struck back with two converted tries and penalty goal to post a handy 14-6 lead at half time.
The Broncos came out firing in the second half, scoring three tries in 24 minutes. At 20-14, and with less than 15 minutes remaining, the home side appeared to be cruising.
But some individual brilliance from Preston Campbell put the Gold Coast back in the match, the Titans fullback making a 40-metre break against the run of play. A cross-field kick from Prince saw centre Josh Graham post a four-pointer, with Prince adding the extras to make it 20-all.
Gold Coast five eighth Mat Rogers was the first to attempt a field goal with a 50-metre effort that had the range, but was waved wide.
Lockyer and Prince then exchanged one-pointers to set up a thrilling finish. Both players continued with the policy of field goal attempts in extra time before Lockyer set up the final play for a five tries to three victory.
With just two more rounds remaining before the finals, the result puts the Broncos' top four aspirations back on track, while the Titans are at least two competition points outside of the top eight and now look likely to miss out on a finals berth.
Match Details Brisbane Broncos 25 def Gold Coast Titans 21 Round 24 - Friday August 22nd, 2008 7:35pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium Referee: Ben Cummins Touch Judges: Gerard Sutton, Brett Suttor Video Referee: Tim Mander Halftime: Titans 14-6 Crowd: 39,757 Brisbane Broncos 25 Tries: Joel Clinton, Denan Kemp, Michael Ennis, Darius Boyd, Greg Eastwood Goals: Corey Parker (2/3), Michael Ennis (0/2) Field Goals: Darren Lockyer (1/2) Gold Coast Titans 21 Tries: Preston Campbell, Mat Rogers, Josh Graham Goals: Scott Prince (4/4) Field Goals: Scott Prince (1/2), Mat Rogers (0/1) LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Darren Lockyer (Broncos) 2 Points: Nathan Friend (Titans) 1 Point: Anthony Laffranchi (Titans) LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
The local South East Queensland Derby and a great night for football at old Lang Park with almost 40,000 fans in attendance. Perhaps a little slippery underfoot following some afternoon showers a few hours ago.
Broncos welcoming back a number of players and are listed as per the card. Titans still have Scott Prince who returned from injury last week but are a largely weakened outfit with plenty of injuries at the backend of the season. Titans also fielding the top 17 as named during the week with the only changes being Gavin Cooper and Will Matthews switching run-on and bench spots.
TEAMS ON THE NIGHT: BRONCOS: 1. Karmichael Hunt 2. Darius Boyd 3. Joel Moon 4. Justin Hodges 5. Denan Kemp 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Peter Wallace 8. Ben Hannant 9. Michael Ennis 10. Joel Clinton 11. Corey Parker 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Tonie Carroll Interchange: 14. Ashton Sims 15. Greg Eastwood 16. Nick Kenny 17. David Stagg TITANS: 1. Preston Campbell 2. Jordan Atkins 3. Josh Graham 4. Brett Delaney 5. Esi Tonga 6. Mat Rogers 7. Scott Prince (c) 8. Brad Meyers 9. Nathan Friend 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Anthony Laffranchi 15. Gavin Cooper 13. Ashley Harrison Interchange: 12. Will Matthews 14. James Stosic 16. Daniel Conn 17. Luke O