On Friday night footy fans in the Sunshine Coast witnessed a thrilling Queensland derby up at Townsville’s Dairy Farmers Stadium where the Broncos claimed a tidy 34 – 26 win.
Brisbane are still well in the race to the finals having now won two on the trot and sitting in seventh spot on the ladder, while the Cowboys season has come to an end as they will play the next three weeks for their fans and pride alone.
There was plenty of fury and passion throughout the match with three sin-binnings and a number of other incidents that are awaiting review by the NRL committee.
Brisbane got off to a flying start with Matt Gillett opening their account with a four-pointer converted by Corey Parker less than five minutes in.
Matt Gillett paid out for punters that bet on him to score the first try at Ladbrokes.com.au
Holding a six point lead, Brisbane were given another early advantage with a penalty in the 10th minute that Parker booted through the posts to put them eight in front.
Before the Cowboys got a chance to kick things off, Israel Folau scored Brisbane’s second in the 22nd minute.
Fighting back, North Queensland’s Ty Williams scored their first five minutes later, Ashley Graham’s conversion making it a two point game.
Then in the 33rd minute the Cowboys were given the chance to tie the score with a penalty, which they took and kicked successfully so the game was eight all.
But two fast tries by a determined Broncos saw the visitors head to the sheds well in front.
First Folau made it a match double in the 36th minute followed by a try to skipper Darren Lockyer seconds before the break.
Parker converted one from two and the score was 24 – 8 in favour of Brisbane.
Back from the break Scott Bolton scored the first try of the second half for the Cowboys in the 48th minute after a nice offload from Willie Mason, but Brisbane were quick to answer with a 53rd minute four-pointer to the in-form Jharal Yow Yeh.
The game moved into the final 10 minutes with Brisbane leading 30 – 14, but there were still plenty of points left to be scored.
Matt Gillett’s top effort earned him man-of-the-match and earned fans who’d backed him to take out the honours at Ladbrokes.com.au a tidy profit
Gillett scored his second in the 72nd minute to bring the Broncos up to 34 points and earning himself the man-of-the-match honours, but the Cowboys were able to get in two tries in the final four minutes through second rower Leeson Ah Mau (76th minute) and Dane Hogan (79th minute) to add some respectability to the score.
It wasn’t all good news for Brisbane, however, as Lockyer suffered a nasty rib injury that will see his team play without him for two weeks.
The Cowboys’ captain Johnathan Thurston was also injured during the fiery encounter, straining his right ankle ligament.
In Round 23 the Broncos have a tough home game hosting the Eels, but if you want to back them don’t do it at the TAB. Get more for your wagering dollar by signing up and betting online at the leading bookmaker in Australia, Ladbrokes.com.au.