Berrigan has tryscoring record in sights
by Chris Cox
Saturday June 18, 2005
Broncos centre Shaun Berrigan is just 6 tries away from the club's season tryscoring record with 11 rounds to play after the Broncos' 40-22 win over Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium.
In the club's 10th straight victory which solidifies themselves at the top of the ladder, Berrigan scored twice to extend his season tally to 17 tries - just 6 shy of the record of 23 held by former Test centre Steve Renouf, and his 35-year-old teammate Darren Smith.
The current winning streak is now just two games shy of the club's record of 12 wins, achieved in 1997-98. It also extends their winning run at Suncorp Stadium to five games - quite an achievement after the club could barely buy a win at the ground in 2003.
Brisbane led 30-6 at half time, and 40-6 10 minutes after the break, but the Tigers came back with three unanswered tries in the final 26 minutes to give themselves some respectability.
Skipper Darren Lockyer led the way early, scoring the opening try after just 10 minutes when he jinked off his left foot and charged through a gap, reaching out to score. He converted for a 6-0 lead.
Almost immediately after, hooker Barry Berrigan darted from dummyhalf and offloaded to Karmichael Hunt, who juggled before finding centre Shaun Berrigan to score the first of his two tries. Lockyer converted for a 12-0 lead.
Shane Webcke lost the ball on the first play from the kick off and then was penalised for backchat to Russell Smith. Another penalty came two plays later and then Benji Marshall stepped past Brett Seymour to score. Brett Hodgson reduced the margin to 12-6.
However, it was merely a punctuation mark, as Justin Hodges crashed over out wide after a mistake from the Tigers. Lockyer converted from the sideline for an 18-6 lead.
Shaun Berrigan scored his second when Seymour placed a beautiful grubber in goal, and Berrigan won the race to score. Lockyer converted again for a 24-6 lead.
The match lulled late in the first half but Karmichael Hunt had the 25000 fans on their feet again when he took a precise Lockyer pass to score. Lockyer converted for the 30-6 scoreline at half time.
Shortly after the break hooker Barry Berrigan was in the action again, getting out from dummyhalf and offloading to Dane Carlaw who crashed over to score. Lockyer converted for a 36-6 lead.
And when Lockyer miraculously trapped a Hodges bat back on his knees, then picked up, sliced through and kicked ahead for 2nd game rookie Steve Michaels to score, it looked like a record thrashing was on the cards. However, Lockyer's conversion hammered off the posts and as it was that symbolised the end of the Broncos' pointscoring.
Pat Richards scored for the Tigers soon after, outleaping Leon Bott for a Scott Prince bomb. Benji Marshall chased through a Prince grubber soon after and the scoreline was 40-16.
The Tigers had tries to Brett Hodgson and Daniel Fitzhenry disallowed for losing the ball short or over the line, while the Broncos also had a try to Dane Carlaw disallowed for the same reason. Karmichael Hunt also lost the ball just short of the line on another occasion.
However, in the final minute Fitzhenry crossed under the posts and Hodgson's conversion gave us the final score of 40-22.
It was a very strong performance from the Broncos. Petero Civoniceva, Shane Webcke, Corey Parker, Sam Thaiday and Dane Carlaw rumbled relentlessly up field, and Barry Berrigan, Brett Seymour and Darren Lockyer revelled with the space created. Hunt was outstanding at fullback, having a hand in everything and making several crucial trysaving tackles, giving hope his one last weakness in his game is being eradicated.
Berrigan and Hodges were strong in the centres, while wingers Leon Bott and Steve Michaels were solid without being granted the room to move they would've liked.
The Tigers played gallantly, with Prince and Marshall always a handful. Forwards Bronson Harrison and Bryce Gibbs were strong up front, but too many mistakes and not enough sting in their defence cost them dearly.
The Broncos venture across the Tasman for a tough encounter with a desperate New Zealand Warriors next week, hoping to extend their winning run to 11 games. The Warriors will be desperate to stay in touch with the top 8 and the Broncos could be without Neville Costigan who was reported for a lifting tackle. State of Origin forwards Tonie Carroll and Brad Thorn are also unlikely to play next week against the physical Kiwi pack.