Both sides had their fair share of NRL players backing up from State of Origin and in a dogged, determined affair, it was the Brisbane Broncos who eventually came away with the spoils.
It was a 16-8 win for the away side, as they executed a touch better than the Canterbury Bulldogs and maintained top spot on the competition ladder.
It was a lion-hearted effort from Sam Thaiday in particular, who was deservedly named man of the match for his performance, that included a try.
Their sixth win on the trot was enough to put them in outright first and surprisingly, the Broncos managed to get through the gruelling Origin period relatively unscathed and with three wins.
With centre Justin Hodges rested for this clash and other Broncos Origin stars rested in the past, coach Wayne Bennett did not rule out further rests for those players if circumstances required it.
“I’m not sure about that, I just want to see how these guys pull up this week, they’ve had a huge workload and it was a tough game tonight,” Bennett said.
“They’ve got six days off, seven days off before [the game against Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium next Sunday], they’re pretty durable but I’m not going to say categorically they will play or won’t play, we’ll just see what shape they come back in.”
Not one to beat around the bush, Bennett admits that his side’s game was not flawless but he will take the scrappy win.
“They did [manage the game well] but it was kind of a scrappy game in some ways too,” Bennett said.
“They weren’t as complete as they have been. I thought our last seven or eight minutes was our worst of our halves but outside that they got the job done.”
Early on, it was the errors and lack of discipline that proved the Dogs downfall and coach Des Hasler knows that is not something you can afford to do against the Broncos.
“Any time we got field position a couple of times there we gave it away pretty cheaply which was disappointing â€“ against a disciplined Broncos side that’s not a good thing,” Hasler said.
There was also a significant boost for the Dogs prior to the game, as captain James Graham returned to the starting side after an injury lay-off. His efforts and leadership spur the side on.
“He’s inspirational for us; he’s a great leader, he leads by his actions and by example,” Bulldogs back-rower Josh Jackson said.
“The rest try to follow him but couldn’t get the win tonight which is disappointing.”
Player of the Game:
3. Sam Thaiday
2. Corey Parker
1. Adam Blair