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The Broncos opened their 2012 premiership campaign with a patchy 18-6 victory over the Eels at Parramatta Stadium.
Brisbane received a scare when Eels halfback Chris Sandow crossed after just four minutes, capitalising on a Gerard Beale blunder to regather his own short kick for a 6-nil lead the under-strength home side (they were missing Jarryd Hayne to injury) would protect to the halftime break.
However, the Broncos found their groove early in the second stanza, with Jharal Yow Yeh and Peter Wallace crossing for four-pointers that saw them gain control with 22 minutes remaining. Yow Yeh’s contribution (52nd minute) finished a slick right-side sweep, while Wallace’s scoring play (59th minute) saw him regather his own grubber kick after it took a deflection off the Parramatta defenders.
Their victory was complete when Ben Hannant charged over from close range with seven minutes remaining.
Brisbane struggled for consistency in attack throughout the clash, completing just 68 per cent of their sets (to the Eels’ 80 per cent) and making 16 errors. Their defence kept them in the clash – they missed just 15 tackles.
Meanwhile tackle misses cost Parra dearly – they tallied 37 on the evening.
Brisbane were best served by centre Justin Hodges who made a game-high 17 runs for 134 metres, gave the final pass for Yow Yeh’s try and managed six offloads.
The Eels were given huge service by skipper Nathan Hindmarsh who added 124 metres and made 51 tackles to kick off what we would later learn was his final year in the NRL.