It was a gritty, dogged affair between the two Queensland sides and it was the Brisbane Broncos who pipped the North Queensland Cowboys, as they scored the winning try to take out the game 14-12.
The clash between the two sides is always a talking point and this game was no different, as the win sees the Broncos currently in first place after winning their first two games.
Despite the narrow win, though, fans galore have concerns when it comes to the lack of a genuine half and it was the combined efforts of Dale Copley and Andrew McCullough that eventually sealed the win for the Broncos.
For coach Anthony Griffin, it is the new steely resolve in defence that has him most impressed and he is pleased with the commitment the players are showing to each other.
“We’re hanging in there, only letting 12 in every week, and that’s what’s getting us home at the moment,” Griffin said.
“Everyone’s playing for each other and that’s coming out in our defence at the moment. Obviously not in our attack at times…
“We had a bit of an air-swing over in New Zealand with that [trial] but we work hard on our defensive game and if you’re going to play at this level you’ve got to be able to do that. But it’s not something that we’ve drilled down and said, ‘This is who we’re going to be,’ it’s just the way it’s turning out at the moment.”
Broncos captain echoed the sentiments of his coach, praising the resolve of the side.
“I think it’s just a commitment between the group,” Parker said.
“To win footy games you’ve got to be the best defensive side.”
As for the Cowboys, after their impressive come-from-behind showing in Rd 1, coach Paul Green knows that his side are just not where they have to be.
“At different times we probably felt that we needed to try and conjure something up special rather than just sticking to what we do and trust that we’ll get the result in the end,” Green said.
“We’re not there yet, certainly not where we want to be. I think we just need to have a bit more composure at different times in the game, particularly when the game’s on the line. When we’re under the pump a bit we just need to stick to what we do.
“Certainly from our point of view would have liked to have controlled the ball a bit better but it was a great contest.”
Still adjusting to the new structure under Green and his tenure as coach, Cowboys co-captain Matt Scott admitted that old habits die hard.
“We probably shouldn’t have put ourselves in that position,” Scott said.
“Two points up and we were semi-comfortable and we just lacked a bit of that mentality to get the job done and finish it off.
“The disappointing thing is that we didn’t really stick to our game-plan as such. We probably tried a little bit too hard in areas where we’ve just got to try to stay composed and get through our sets. That will come as a team as we get a bit of rhythm. We never had much rhythm from the start of the game.”
3. Dale Copley
2. James Tamou
1. Matt Gillett