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Excellence of execution as Broncos ease past Titans

The story at a miserable and wet Suncorp Stadium was a simple one - Brisbane just far too good for the Gold Coast Titans. The derby game was dominated by the home side, who were ultra-impressive with their skills and execution in very difficult conditions.

Brisbane make it six in a row and the Titans couldn't muster up the sort of performance that stunned Manly at Brookvale Oval. They were stampeded in the first half but tried their hardest in the second. By then it was too late and the Broncos never looked ruffled on the back of a dominant Peter Wallace kicking game.

Key man If NSW want a halfback for all occasions, they need look no further. Wallace was very good again tonight, guiding Brisbane with complete confidence and continuing to build his partnership with Corey Norman, who was a real handful in slippery conditions and set up a freakish try for Josh Hoffman. Alex Glenn bagged a double for Brisbane and was part of a backrow that is probably the best in the NRL.

Numbers game Wallace kicked for some 417m off 17 clearances, a vital stat in the wet that helped Brisbane maintain a territorial strangehold in the first half that earned them a matchwinning 20-0 lead. They completed an impressive 78% of their sets in the rain. They also had two tries disallowed, meaning the score could have been far worse for the Titans, who did manage to pick up their ball control dramatically after halftime.

What it means The Broncos are oozing quality and confidence at this stage of the season. They took care of business with relative ease tonight and showed some great skill in the process, as well as a well-organised defence. The Titans, well, it's more of the same. They tried hard and John Cartwright won't fault their effort once again. But in terms of class and fundamentals, they were a few grades below a genuine premiership contender.

FULLTIME Brisbane 26 Titans 6.

In the meantime, Matt has given me a rocket in the comments about my post regarding the rivalry. Matt, certainly agree there has been some great games in the past but I reckon it's struggling to take on mythic proportions at the moment. I'm not a southerner, btw, unless someone has moved the Mary Valley over the border and not told me.

78th min Thaiday bolts clear and Hodges thinks he has a try but it's called back for the forward pass. A shattered reporter in here has his margin bet exploded right at the death. Heartbreaking stuff. Score remains Broncos 26 Titans 6 as we count down the final seconds.

76th min Brisbane have completed 79% of their 39 sets tonight, which is very impressive given the awful weather. And it's not as if they've been playing a dull sort of game either. Fantastic skills on show and executed by a side playing with real confidence. Titans have improved dramatically in the second half but this has been a group one winner against a galloped-out country nag tonight. It's Brisbane 26 Titans 6.

74th min Titans appeal for a try but I don't like their chances. Gone upstairs after Bird juggles it three times before it ends up in the hands of Luke Douglas, who plants it under the posts. It's no try and the score remains 26-6. The kick from Sezer took a horrid bounce for Hoffman, who could only stand and it watch it do a reverse flick over his head and back to the Titans' chasers.

70th min TRY to Brisbane and they are on their feet for that one! Josh Hoffman scores and that's FREAKY play from Corey Norman. Kicked it twice, it bounced up and he batted it over a Titans defender to his fullback, who stepped Zillman to go under the posts. Delicious. Broncos are good things. Excellent things in fact. They lead 26-6.

68th min Bailey goes high on Corey Norman and Brisbane win the penalty right in front. And another one as Bird is offside. Only a matter of time before Brisbane get another one you'd suspect. Three touches from Wallace in that one play and a nice kick too but wonderful read from Zillman. Saves the try. He's been pretty good in an outclassed side tonight. It's Brisbane 20 Titans 6.

66th min In terms of this game being a "derby", as a fan of neither team but a Brisbane resident, I have to say it has never really taken on anything resembling some of the great rivalries of the game. Maybe one day that might happen but fair to say Broncos fans haven't given Titans fans a great deal of thought this season.

64th min I would humble suggest it's time for ALL players to bin the goose step tonight. Jack Reed just tries one. It's as convincing as a Milli Vanilli live show and he goes sledding along the wet grass and into touch. But hey, better than laying bricks. Broncos lead 20-6 and time running a little short for the Titans as Idris goes out of play on the other side of the park.

60th min I can write that as it turns out. Now Bailey is working off his injury with a goose step in the middle of the field. And some drama here! Boden Thompson goes high on Hoffman as the Broncos fullback returns the kick. Looked spectacular bit not too bad - on report. Greg Bird involved in a little post-penalty scuffle as well. Pigs will fly. Broncos lead 20-6.

58th min Hodges down for the Broncos! It's a knee and the entire ground goes "ooooooohhhhhhhh" and can't bare to look. But it's cool, folks. It's cool. Just jarred it as he slipped and he's back in the line. Titans pressing now and Brisbane lead 20-6. Luke Bailey has injured his bottom as he ran into the goalpost. I kid you not. A corked arse. Can I write that?

57th min Griffin has this Brisbane side immaculately drilled. They are taking the pressure off themselves with military standard fundamentals, much of which revolves around Wallace. Darts the kick into the corner and the chase is smothering. They know how to ride momentum and withstand momentum at the moment, which is why they are where they are on the ladder.

55th min Dunamis Lui, who has an excellent name, out there for Brisbane as they truck it out in reply to another very promising set from the Gold Coast, who might have made more metres in this half than the entire first half.

53rd min No mistake from Prince and the Broncos lead it 20-6. A noticeable lift in hustle from the Titans in the second half. Knees are pumping harder when they run and the defence has more edge and desperation. Wouldn't go as far to say they are back in the game but another try would make things fairly interesting.

51st min Superb TRY to the Titans. Nique! The Human Highlight and Unforced Error and Missed Tackle Film! What a great lead-up that was. Went through a million sets of hands over four tackles and ended up with a very well deserved meat pie. It's Brisbane 20- Titans 4 as Prince lines up his kick.

48th min Well played Titans. Brisbane looked to have them on toast out to the right but they scrambled pretty well, although Jamal Idris looks exceedingly vulnerable in that isolated one-on-one with Hodges. Was backpeddling at pace then and Hodges was toying with him. Took some great inside cover to tidy up but already a bit more to like from the Titans in this half. Score is still 20-0 to Brisbane though. Heavy rain now.

44th min They are less terrible! Good run from Srama to earn the penalty and only some excellent Brisbane defence denying the Titans at the moment. They were right on the line but have been driven backwards and now the Broncos get a relieving penalty. No reward for the Titans but that's much better intent and energy from them. Still no gains on Brisbane's 20-0 lead.

42nd min Players back out there in the steady rain and Titans attacking early, presumably taking the halftime advice of coach John Cartwright which was "be less terrible". Comes to nothing though and they still can't get off the mark.

HALFTIME Broncos 20 Titans 0.

Alright, I've changed my tune. I thought the Titans make might a game of this but they haven't been given as much as a sniff in the first half. Not even a sniff of a sniff. Brisbane are just clinical. Here's some of the key points...

  • Complete domination of territory. Great kicks, better chasing and Gold Coast errors mean the Broncos are able to threaten the line almost every time they get the ball. Broncos have had 60% of the pill.
  • Brisbane's forwards are killing it in the wet conditions. Faster and more mobile, the Titans are constantly on the back foot. The Broncos ran for 274 extra metres in that 40 minutes.
  • Brisbane's playmakers are influential. Peter Wallace has been an authority again, while Corey Norman and Matt Gillett have had some quality touches on the way to the line.
  • Titans need to cut the errors (nine out of 17 sets complete) and try and play some football in Brisbane's half. This could blow out even further if they continue to loiter around their line.

38th min Matt Gillett has the skillz to pay the billz. I used 'z' instead of 's' to give this post some real cred in the streets, like Castlemaine St, just outside. Brisbane went wide from the break in play and the big backrower caught it in the rain and threw a long and thoroughly edible pass to Beale for the try. Is there any way the Queenslanders can fit this guy in their 17? Doubt it to be honest but he's a treat to watch. Kick missed so it's still 20-0.

37th min Looks like a head clash with Hodges. The Brisbane centre up and about but Myles struggling. Actually, Myles copped a knee in the face from Hodges as he went low for the tackle. Accidental but must have hurt. Brisbane about to play it five metres out and dead in front. And here's a TRY to Beale! It's 20-0.

36th min Beale beats Bird and a couple of others on the kick return and it took a good tackle from Zillman to stop him going 70m. Confusion for the Titans and Nate Myles in big trouble here. Looks like he's taken a very nasty knock to the head.

33rd min Gillett! How good is this kid. Very close there. Charged down the left-footed kick of Sezer and just about scored. Nobody else chasing but him but the ball just trickled into touch before he could reach. Another error now for the Titans and they've essentially played the game behind their 30m line - with and without the ball. Broncos lead 16-0. Reckon it might be more than that in a minute.

30th min Look out - Michael Henderson on for Luke Douglas. And there's Gillett plain belting Mark Minichiello. Ouch. Gave him a good whupping in that front-on tackle. Broncos leading 16-0 and from my read of this one, are only looking better and better as it goes on. Complete territorial domination and a penalty here to rub it in. Quality side this lot.

26th min Light rain falling here now. Misty rain you might say. Or a drizzle. Norman away! Titans getting picked apart like a carcass and almost another one ffor Brisbane! Copley over but the pass was forward ffrom Reed, who is also available to build brick letterboxes after training most days. Broncos lead 16-0.

24th min Parker stares down at his questionable tattoo, stalks the ball and drills it through the posts. Let's make that 16-0 to the Broncos. For Titans fans, the good news is I'm hearing your side is just getting out of the bus and should be here any moment. I'll let you know when they arrive.

21st min Brisbane all over the Titans like the good old cheap suit at the moment. Very one-sided contest at this stage and a re-start here from the Gold Coast. Brisbane dominating the ruck and just about everything else. Even Ben Hannant throwing short balls like a five-eighth. He's in great nick at the moment. Broncos lead 10-0. Actually, make that 14-0. TRY to McCullough. Soft like melted chocolate, the Titans.

17th min Scandal - Parker misses the kick. Score remains 10-0 to the Broncos. They are playing brilliantly as a unit at the moment. Just purring along under Anthony Griffin. Remember that Lockyer guy? Rubbish.

13th min That's a bad mistake from Dominique Peyroux. Ran off the hip of the dummy half and dropped it cold. I was going to start calling him "The Human Highlight Film", after Atlanta Hawks dunking machine and flat-top exponent Dominique Wilkins, but will put that on hold. And here's TRY number two for the Broncos. Glenn again. Nique misses the tackle. That nickname was dead before it got off the ground. Maybe "The Human Unforced Error and Missed Tackle Film"? Brisbane 10 Titans 0.

12th min Corey Parker just smashes that through the posts. I was hoping he'd toe bash it for some nostalgia but no such luck. Again, I blame the wrestle. The Titans have to wrestle with a 6-0 deficit though (I'll stop now).

11th min Could be a try for Brisbane to Alex Glenn but it's gone upstairs. Wallace bomb and a few things to look at but that's a TRY for the Broncos. They lead 4-0 and Parker has a simple conversion.

9th min Titans force the drop-out. Pretty decent play from them and the Brisbane defence didn't pay them enough respect I don't think. Lovely play here and Prince almost through again! That's a try-saver from Norman and now the kick is too big from Sezer. Phew for Brisbane. Encouraging from the Titans. Very GC. Still 0-0.

7th min Titans get their first chance of the evening after a penalty helps them migrate up the park. That's a nice inside ball to Bird there. Thaiday galloped up too fast and the Broncos being stretched here.

5th min Intercept to Scott Prince! He's away and runs, oh, about three or four metres before being caught by the Brisbane defence. Long ball from Norman was a little ambitious and Prince in fact penned a chapter of his memoirs while waiting to catch it. Titans make a boo-boo though and Brisbane attack again. It's 0-0 (blame the wrestle).

3rd min I can only imagine the pub arguments on Bribie Island about who is their best current Broncos player. It's either Jack Reed or Matt Gillett. Must split the island in twain that one. Also, I believe Matt Gillett is no relation to Jarred Gillett, the A-League referee who found himself in a bit of a pickle on this very ground on Sunday. He was right, by the way. Brisbane attacking, by the way. And they win a penalty right on the Gold Coast line.

1st min Brisbane kick off - still 0-0. Why don't the stop the wrestle and speed this game up?

7.35pm Jump on the live coverage of Sea Eagles-Manly with the bearded Ben Coady to keep track of the Sydney game. For the record, I can also grow a beard but was bullied into shaving for my outdated headshot, which was once described by a photographic type as too "bland" to promote. Hard to argue, really.

Preamble Top of the evening to you sports fans. I'd love to say it's a beautiful night in Brisbane, so I will, although it's been raining on and off today and I think things will get a little slippery out there tonight. I can remember a time not that long ago when we used to have to use the leftover water from the washing machine for our cups of tea. These days, it never seems to stop raining. Excellent for my newly planted leafy vegetables, poor for running rugby league.

Teams are as per program tonight, so if you look above at our nifty match centre (if you are on mobile, switch to full site) you'll see the rival squads. Brisbane heavy favourites and deservedly so, given they've dropped just a single game this season and are on a five-game tear. The catch is, the Titans beat Manly at Brookvale last time out of the gates and after covering their games against the Roosters and Bulldogs, I can non-exclusively reveal they aren't playing terrible football. Could be closer than you think tonight. A few things to think about...

  • Aidan Sezer - needs to prove his ripper against the Sea Eagles wasn't due to a tear in the space-time continuum. Have the Titans found a post-Mat Rogers number six at last?
  • Peter Wallace returns from a groin injury. I think he deserves to play for NSW but suspect he's not much hope. Having a great season though - good match-up with Scott Prince.
  • Brisbane get much more from their bench in Hunt, McGuire, Gillett and Lui. The Titans are stacked with big men, which may not be ideal against little men or fringe attackers like Gillett in wet weather.

2 comments so far

  • What do you mean 'not one of the great rugby league rivalries'?? How many times have gold coast teams (titans and pre titans) been struggling only to turn up against the broncos and play out of thier skins! Not onight obviously, but many times in the past a struggling gold coast have given a classy broncos side more than a run for thier money. Do you know that the biggest crowd for a broncos game was V gold coast seagulls in the early 90's, some 55000+ turned up to watch defending premiers play cellar dwellars! Sounds like something a southerner would say, especially one of those that believes that great rivalries can only exist in Sydney...

    Date and time
    April 27, 2012, 9:22PM
    • relax. you love this too much. It's a fixture.

      Date and time
      April 27, 2012, 10:06PM

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