The Brisbane Broncos have some work to do before season kick-off, as a low key trial game against the Redcliffe Dolphins nearly ended in defeat – the Broncos only edging out the local side by 2 points, winning 24-22. While the likes of Justin Hodges and some other stars were omitted, the quality in the Brisbane side really should have shone through more in what was considered a mismatch of sorts.
Two Joel Moon tries saved Brisbane from what would have been an embarrassing loss on the back of last week’s loss to Canberra.
Lockyer’s leadership and brilliance will make a big difference as will Hodges’s try scoring ability, but on the Broncos’ showing, they’re still struggling with combinations that could take some time to click.
“We were better this week than last week,” said Bennett who was not too disappointed after Redcliffe ambushed Brisbane with three quick first half tries to jump to a shock 16-0 lead.
“Defensively we were a lot better. We didn’t look too good defensively in the first 15 minutes, but after that we settled down and we’re a lot closer to where we want to be defensively.
“Our attack … we had Wallace and Lockyer missing and Michael Ennis (quad strain) didn’t play and either did Hodgo, they’re your key players.”
Bennett said Redcliffe turned up looking to make a name for themselves because of the fantastic opportunity to show what they could do at the top level.
“They were always going to play well. It’s why they got off to such a great start, they came out and blitzed us,â€ Bennett said.
“We were playing a trial match and they were playing one of their biggest games of the season.”
The second of Moon’s tries put Brisbane ahead 20-16 for the first time in the game after 57 minutes.
A female fan celebrated the try with a naked streak across the ground that had security guards racing onto the field to the delight of the 8,000 fans who packed into the ground hoping to see an upset.
Redcliffe looked sharper with the football early with their first try coming in the eighth minute to late inclusion Craig Frawley, who scored without a hand being laid on him.
Four minutes later Derrick Watkins scrambled over after a clever grubber kick by hooker Mick Roberts to extend their lead to 10-0.
Their third try came after a 60 metre burst led to impressive forward Troy Lindsay pulling down a shoulder-high pass from Roberts for a 16-0 lead.
Second-rower Sam Thaiday finally put Brisbane on the scoreboard with a bustling try in the 20th minute after Redcliffe produced some desperate right side defence to stop centre Steve Michaels from crossing.
Brisbane posted the best try of the half in the 31st minute after Moon finished off some good lead up work by fleet-footed winger Reece Robinson and fullback Darius Boyd.
Broncos centre Gerard Beale was awarded a try just before half-time to cut Redcliffe’s lead to 16-14.
Youngster Reece Robinson turned in another eye catching trial and could be a chance to grab a wing spot for the NRL season opener against the Panthers.