Nigel Wall,, NRL.com
Four unanswered tries in the opening 35 minutes rocketed the Broncos to a commanding 24-nil lead over the Dragons before a packed house of 38,012 fans at Suncorp Stadium back in Round 5 last season.
However, visions of an easy Brisbane victory evaporated soon after the resumption of play as the visitors piled on three unanswered tries of their own to claw back to a 24-16 scoreline with 15 minutes to play.
However, some sublime skills from now-Dragon Gerard Beale in the 70th minute gave Brisbane the breathing space they needed to grab the competition points. After some crisp passing on the right edge, Beale chip kicked around the defence 20 metres out, then toed the ball into the in-goal where it was grounded by Matt Gillett for what would prove the match-winner.
The Dragons hit back with a late try to Matt Prior (75th minute) but it was too little too late for the Red V, falling 28-20 at the siren.
Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough starred in the victory; he gave the final pass for Corey Norman to score and it was his dash from dummy-half in the 21st minute to catch the Dragons napping that provided his side with their third try of the night. McCullough ended up with 12 runs and made 30 tackles.
Brett Morris tried hard for the beaten side, scoring a try and running for 164 metres with four offloads.
The weight of possession told the story, with the Broncos dominating 54%-46% on the back of an 84% completion rate compared to the Dragons’ 71%. Also, the Brisbane attack was clearly the stronger, registering seven line-breaks to three.