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Wallace Field Goal Heralds In New Era At Broncos
The 45,002 fans at Suncorp Stadium received the fairytale they had wished for when boom signing Israel Folau crashed over in the opening minutes of the game helping the Brisbane Broncos to a thrilling 19-18 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys.
Expecting a cross field bomb for Folau on the last tackle, the Cowboys defenders rushed up on Lockyer, who flicked off a second man pass to Hunt, who thundered out a perfectly timed cut out pass to hit Folau on the chest and the rest pretty much writes itself.
But it was a case of anything you can do I can do better, as the Cowboys replied with a try of their own to new signing Willie Tonga, who made Folau look silly in the process.
Cowboys playmaker Johnathan Thurston ran down the short side, showing the ball before hitting Tonga with a face ball right on the defensive line, who raced a couple of metres to score. Folau was left flat footed and clutching at air after misreading the dynamic Thurston.
The next period of play was marred by errors from both sides before a great individual effort from Dave Taylor put the scoreboard attendants to work again.
The giant prop received an inside ball off Wallace then twisted and shrugged his way past two Cowboys defenders before linking up with Corey Parker who only had to fall over the line.
However, it was the Cowboys who were unlucky not to have gone into the sheds in front at the break, denied an almost certain try after some silly obstruction from a Cowboys player. The Broncos lead was 10-6 at the break.
It looked as though the Broncos would run away with it in the second half with a quick try to debutant Antonio Winterstein.
In what was a cruel period of play for the Cowboys, a magic display from Matt Bowen to gather in a Broncos grubber and evade two defenders to make it out of the in goal was quickly undone when Shannon Hegarty was bundled over the sideline.
The Broncos made them pay maximum dividends when Hunt put in a grubber for the young winger.
But a somewhat soft try to Carl Webb in the 51st minute ensured the game was still up for grabs.
A terrible last tackle option from the Broncos handed the Cowboys some good field position and it was the only invitation Thurston needed.
In what could already be described as arguably the try of the season, Thurston drifted down the short side before putting in a perfectly placed banana kick for his partner in crime Bowen, who gathered in brilliantly and planted the ball down.
The Cowboys hit the lead 18-14 and it was now the Broncos turn to play from behind.
Scores were brought level in the 65th minute when Jharal Yow Yeh was on the end of another Lockyer/Hunt manoeuvre, displaying some nice footwork of his own to fool Ty Williams and sneak over in the corner. The conversion was missed and scores were locked at 18-all.
The Broncos had appeared to score the match winner when Steve Michaels dived on a Parker grubber, but replays showed he had fumbled the ball.
It was left to Brisbane