It was a win for big brother, as the Broncos defeated the Dolphins by 18-12 in a thrilling Battle of Brisbane derby in front of 51,047 fans at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
It was a scrappy first half from both sides with plenty of dropped ball in humid conditions, before the second half saw some entertaining tries with only a Kotoni Staggs length of the field try at the death sealing the first of what will be a long and fierce rivalry between the sides.
The loss for Wayne Bennett's men was further soured with news that halfback Sean O'Sullivan suffered what is being reported as a torn pectoral injury, which could see the plucky number seven miss the rest of the season.
The city of Brisbane had been waiting for this moment for a long time and a vocal crowd welcomed both sides to the Cauldron. It was Broncos winger Jesse Arthars who scored the first try, after he latched onto the end of a slick backline play involving Reece Walsh and Herbie Farnworth. Adam Reynolds missed from the touchline and it was 4-0 early lead to Brisbane.
Brisbane continued to dominate possession in the first half, but multiple handling errors cost them from extending their lead before halftime. The Dolphins also had their chances and went with in a whisker of evening up the game when winger Jamayne Isaako just couldn't get the ball grounded inside the corner post just before the break.
Brisbane struck first in the second half, when winger Selwyn Cobbo scored in the corner following a sublime cut-out ball from Reece Walsh. Reynolds again missed the conversion from out wide and Brisbane led 8-0.
The Phins needed some luck and they received some off a bizarre error from Brisbane winger Cobbo, who initially baulked at catching a kick on the last, with the Queensland winger then soccering the ball into touch like he was avoiding a corner.
That was the chance the home side needed, when unlikely hero Jarrod Wallace scored off a crash ball close to the line, carrying three Broncos defenders over with him. Isaako converted to narrow the lead to 8-6.
Cobbo then looked to have redeemed himself moments later, when he leapt over the tryline, only for Dolphins front rower Mark Nicholls managing to strip the ball at the last moment to save a certain try.
Redcliffe then brought the sold-out crowd to their feet, when Anthony Milford put in a neat kick on the last for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow who came from the clouds to get the ball down and give his side the lead for the first time in the match.
Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds then put Kurt Capewell into a huge gap and the backrower charged towards the corner to score a superb try and lock up the scores. Reynolds then nailed the conversion to give his side a 14-12 lead with ten minutes remaining.
Kotoni Staggs then sealed victory for the Broncos when he picked up a kick in his own in goal and raced past four Dolphins defenders and go the length of the field to score a superb try and claim Suncorp Stadium as the Broncos and hand the Phins their first defeat.
The Broncos return to Suncorp Stadium next week when they host the winless Wests Tigers next Saturday night. The Dolphins will travel to Wollongong in the preceding game, where they take on the Dragons.