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Brisbane?s youngsters showed their more illustrious clubmates will have plenty of pressure on them this season, romping home 48-12 in the season?s opening trial against South Sydney?s premier league side in Bundaberg.
Five-eighth Aaron Barba, recruited from Penrith as a winger, was sensational, with his lightning pace and bullet-like passing causing plenty of headaches for the Rabbitohs defence. With a hat-trick of tries, speedy winger Leon Bott also caught the eye, as did the likes of Neville Costigan, Neale Wyatt and Cowboys recruit Derrick Watkins, who took home the players? player award.
In front of a packed crowd of almost 6000 people, the young Broncos outfit ran in nine tries to two, but more importantly showed Brisbane possess the depth to seriously challenge for the title this season.
Along with Bott?s hat-trick, which included one powerhouse effort in which he beat four defenders on the way to the line, Costigan stormed over twice and Barba also grabbed a double in a display which would have thrilled Clydesdales coach John Dixon.
After a record breaking season on the wing with Redcliffe in 2003, Barba was lured to Penrith but was unable to break into the first grade squad. While his pace out wide was obvious, Dixon saw Barba?s vision as ideally suited to a halves role and the youngster shone in his first match in the number six jersey
Halfback Brett Seymour was solid in his return from a knee reconstruction, kicking and organising well in the first forty minutes before he was replaced by coach Kevin Walters.
Broncos led 22-0 at halftime and 42-0 after a beauftiful short ball from Costigan sent Bott in for his third try of the night.
South Sydney's Premier League side scored two late tries in the final quarter to Lydan Maitua and Michael Moran to finally get onto the scoreboard.