Broncos hold on for hard-fought win over Bunnies
SOUTH Sydney fullback Greg Inglis finally cracked Brisbane's iron-clad defence but his try was not enough to stop the Broncos registering their fifth straight win, 30-8, at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane had to survive a fired up South Sydney who came back from 14-0 down at half time to trail 14-8 before the Broncos attacking machine threw the switch with three second half tries.
The talking point of the match was a heavy tackle by South Sydney star Sam Burgess on a defenceless Brisbane forward Joe Ofahengaue which triggered wild mid-field melee in the second half involving almost every player on the field.
Burgess was called out and cautioned by referee Jared Maxwell for "unnecessary conduct" and penalised while Brisbane centre, James Roberts who was the first player to charge in, was told he could have been sent to the sin bin for his actions.
The incident fired up both teams who traded big hits in a physical second half.
The Broncos, however, may yet pay a hefty price for the win with hooker Andrew McCullough suffering a knee injury and two players, Ofahenguae (shoulder charge) and Adam Blair, both placed on report.
Blair was put on report by Jarred Maxwell for what looked to be late hit on Souths No.7 Adam Reynolds, who only returned from a broken jaw last weekend.
South Sydney coach Michael Maguire said after the game he feared Reynolds had re-broken his jaw and would have scans today.
Reynolds left the field for a concussion test but bravely returned to finish the game.
Centre Hymel Hunt could also be out of action for a while after tearing his pectoral muscle.
The clash, played out in front of 40,000 fans, erupted after Burgess jumped on Ofahengaue.
Brisbane winger Corey Oates meanwhile gave Queensland and Australian selectors something to think about with an incredible try in the left corner with his entire body, except his right hand and the ball suspended over the sideline.
"I lost sight of the try line for a second when I got grabbed around the head and just reached out," said the young winger who is making a strong case for representative selection.
Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett defended his players for standing up to South Sydney's aggressive tactics even though two of them found themselves on report.
"I never wan to see my player turn their backs when that happens," said Bennett, when asked about the fact he had two players on report.
"It's a tough game."
Brisbane were attempting to equal a 97 year-old record as the first club since Eastern Suburbs in 1919 to hold an opposition side scoreless for three games in a row.
They looked on target leading 14-0 until Greg Inglis became the first player to breach Brisbane's line in 223 minutes.
Result: Brisbane 30 (Kody Nikorima, Ben Hunt, Corey Oates, Jordan Kahu, Corey Parker tries. Parker 3 goals Jordan Kahu 2 goals bt South Sydney (Greg Inglis try. Adam Reynolds goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 40,275.