The Brisbane Broncos have recorded their first home victory of the 2014 NRL season with a 16-12 defeat of fellow Queenslanders, the North Queensland Cowboys.
NRL crowds were a major talking point out of the media following Round 1, however the Queensland supporters turned out in droves with a healthy 42,303 watching on at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane fired early as Matt Gillett capitalised on possession as Ben Barba threw a short, pin-point pass which sent the lock forward charging into a hole. The Broncos lead 6-0 after just 7 minutes.
North Queensland returned fire minutes later as James Tamou provided the offload to Johnathan Thurston who used his fancy footwork to notch up the Cowboys first points. After 16 minutes, the match was locked up at 6-all.
Josh McGuire was heavily involved for the Broncos and his actions saw him twice placed on report. The first incident saw him penalised for a swinging arm high tackle on Gavin Cooper in the 17th minute.
Shortly before the break, Brisbane struck the lead again as former Dragon, Daniel Vidot cleaned up a well placed grubber kick from Josh Hoffman. The Broncos used their set plays to perfection as they took a 10-6 lead into half time.
The Cowboys did not take long to click into gear as Gavin Cooper swooped on a loose ball knocked down by Kyle Feldt off a cross field kick from Robert Lui. North Queensland once again locked the game up, 10-all after 49 minutes.
Josh McGuire's second indiscretion saw him once again placed on report and penalised. McGuire made contact with the legs of Robert Lui as he kicked on the last tackle. The penalty set up Thurston for a penalty goal which gave the Cowboys a 12-10 lead after 53 minutes.
Both teams crossed the white wash in five minutes, however on both occasions they were denied by officials. In a tight contest, the pressure mounted with mistakes building as the match headed into the final 10 minutes of play.
The pressure finally cracked as Man of the Match, Sam Thaiday busted the Cowboys defence open to place them on the back foot. Andrew McCullough finished off the play which saw him sail away from the chasers to post the match winning try for the Broncos.
There was a flicker of hope for the Cowboys in the final minute as Thurston earned a line drop out after a strong line attack. However, it was in vain as the line drop out was contained by the Broncos defence.
After a brilliant 80 minutes of football, the Broncos ended victors, 16-12.
Next week the Broncos will hope to make it two straight victories at home as the host the Sydney Roosters, while the Cowboys return Townsville to battle the New Zealand Warriors at 1300SMILES Stadium.