Broncos overrun Cowboys
by Chris Cox
Saturday May 14, 2005
After 55 minutes, if anyone had suggested the Broncos would score at a point a minute to finish the match, they would have been carted off to the loony bin. The Broncos trailed 6-0 and were having a hard enough time completing their sets, let alone putting on plays to trouble the Cowboys' enthusiastic defence.
However, a slice of luck and a sideline conversion lifted the boys from Brisbane as they powered home over their northern cousins 23-6 at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Skipper Darren Lockyer sparked the revival when a grubber kick was fumbled by Steve Southern back into his arms, the electrifying five-eighth running across field and linking with winger Leon Bott who scored in the corner.
Lockyer copped a heavy knock for his trouble, and unable to take the conversion, halfback Brett Seymour stepped up. Literally on the sideline, Seymour's kick sailed sweetly over the cross bar to level the scores, but more importantly, lift his team for a remarkable final 20 minute assault.
Just 5 minutes later, Lockyer was in the action again, sending a neat pass to Casey McGuire who hit a gap beautifully to score. Seymour converted from closer to the posts and the Broncos were in the lead for the first time 12-6.
Barry Berrigan darted from dummyhalf moments later and linked with his brother Shaun inside, but the centre was dragged down just short. On the next play Karmichael Hunt darted from dummyhalf and stepped inside to score behind the posts and seal victory.
Seymour snapped a 25 metre field goal to make a bird of it, and when Shaun Berrigan finally scored off a last minute chip kick, the Broncos had scored 23 unanswered points and stunned the sold out crowd.
It was a coming of age of sorts for Seymour who stepped out of Lockyer's shadow and really played a crucial role as the Broncos powered home to their sixth straight win. The 20-year-old halfback had the courage to volunteer to take the conversion of the Bott try when Lockyer was reeling from a heavy knock, and he slotted it with ease.
He continued to be involved in the final 20 minutes and his presence really took the pressure off Lockyer.
Lockyer was outstanding in the second half after a frustrating first half in which he was penalised three times by British referee Russell Smith, who surely must've outstayed his welcome by now. Up front Brad Thorn, Shane Webcke and Petero Civoniceva rumbled up the field relentlessly. David Stagg tackled everything that moved - and racked up 38 tackles, many of them crucial one-on-one hits on Matt Bowen as the electrifying fullback was returning balls in dangerous positions.
Barry Berrigan was outstanding at hooker, while off the bench Neville Costigan, Casey McGuire and Corey Parker made an immediate impact. The outside backs struggled for quality ball, with Bott in particular struggling with the sideline, and Shaun Berrigan having great difficulty holding the ball. Fullback Hunt had his best game of the season.
The Cowboys started magnificently, dominating field position early and Bowen sliced through between Lockyer and Civoniceva to score. However, they began pushing passes and getting frustrated as the game wore on. Josh Hannay's dislocated shoulder is bad news for the Queensland selectors, who have already lost Test centre Willie Tonga for at least the first two Origins with a knee injury.
Paul Rauhihi, Carl Webb and Shane Tronc tried hard up front all game, but Johnathon Thurston and Chris Sheppard struggled to take advantage, with lots of mistakes in promising positions.
Both sides have a bye next week, with the Broncos retaining their spot on top of the ladder with Manly, who also defeated the Bulldogs tonight, leaving the defending premiers languishing in 12th spot with just 3 wins from their 9 games this season.