A stunning Broncos debut by Reece Walsh has led Kevin Walters’ men to a 28-16 win over the Cowboys in Friday night’s Queensland derby at Suncorp Stadium.
With Walsh at his mesmerising best and five-eighth Ezra Mam also enjoying a magical night, the Broncos made it two straight wins to start the season.
The Cowboys flew out of the blocks with Jason Taumalolo making big metres and star back-rower Jeremiah Nanai capitalising on the early possession with some trademark footwork to cross in the fifth minute.
Some desperate defence by Chad Townsend denied Mam a chance to hit back in the 12th minute before the Cowboys extended their lead to 8-0 midway through the half courtesy of a Val Holmes penalty goal.
The Broncos had several chances to open their account with 16 tackles inside the Cowboys’ red zone in the first 25 minutes but Todd Payten’s men held firm.
Herbie Farnworth looked to have jagged a try for Brisbane when he dived into the corner in the 30th minute but the try was disallowed for obstruction in the lead-up.
In the 34th minute the Broncos finally took their opportunity inside the 20-metre zone when skipper Adam Reynolds grubbered for Kurt Capewell to score.
A penalty against Martin Taupau for a hip drop tackle handed Holmes the chance to add two more points and the Cowboys took a 10-6 lead before the Broncos had the final say with a superb try to Mam.
With 30 seconds remaining in the half, Walsh found space and sent the ball to winger Corey Oates who put a perfectly weighted grubber back inside for Mam to gather and score. Reynolds missed the conversion and the score was locked 10-10 at the break.
The Cowboys lost fullback Scott Drinkwater to the sin bin in the 44th minute when he made high contact on Oates as the Broncos winger tried to score in the corner and the home side cashed in immediately when Kotoni Staggs scored from a Walsh kick.
The Broncos went further ahead in the 50th minute when Walsh sparked another raid and Mam finished it off to make it 20-10 to Brisbane.
Drinkwater returned to the field in the 54th minute to make it 13 on 13 but the Cowboys looked to be out of gas and a penalty goal to Reynolds with 10 minutes to play made it 22-10.
Nanai made it a double in the 73rd minute when Townsend put a perfectly weighted grubber into the in goal and the Cowboys were back in the contest.
The Cowboys threw everything at Brisbane in a bid to level up but Walsh had the final word when he backed up a Farnworth break to score the Broncos’ fifth try.