A pretty damn entertaining game at Suncorp Stadium today, as Brisbane Broncos managed to overcome North Queensland Cowboys 19-18 to get their 2009 campaign up and running. It was noticeable how rusty both sides were with knock-ons and missed tackles galore, but I’ve always felt that the most important aspect to an entertaining sporting contest is consistent parity, and these two sides seemed fairly level for the most part. In the end Brisbane’s ability to make less mistakes in key positions was what led to Peter Wallace sending over a drop-goal with only a few mnutes remaining.
A few things to take out of this game. Firstly, Dave Taylor is a beast. Having not really watched the NRL that much just as he’s come into the the league, I’d heard about him but not really seen all that much of him. His drive and off-load for Corey Parker’s try was a thing of beauty, and I see why he’s seen as one of the outstanding young props in the game. Secondly, has there ever been a more dangerous last-minute player than Darren Lockyer? I know it didn’t result in a try, but his decision to run and off-load in the final minute from around his own 40 metre line when a kick would have been the logical option saw a Brisbane movement held up just a few metres from the line; the Cowboys knocked on after the turnover nder pressure on their own line, and the game was up. Thirdly, this game seemed more… frantic than usual, and it showed in the performance of the players. Was this due to having two referees? We’ll see as the season progresses.