The Broncos ended a six-game losing streak and gained some confidence going into the finals as the eighth-placed team when they survived a tough game against the Panthers to win 19-12 at Suncorp Stadium in Round 26 of last season.
It was to be Broncos, Queensland and Australian hero Petero Civoniceva's last home game in his retiring year and his teammates were determined to send the big prop out the right way.
The two teams were locked up at 12-12 entering the last 10 minutes, and as things got more and more desperate it was the Broncos who handled the pressure best to produce a try to second-rower Alex Glenn in the 76th minute.
Halfback Peter Wallace converted for an 18-12 lead and then made absolutely sure of the two points with a 79th-minute field-goal.
The Broncos did the vast majority of their best work in the second half. After trailing 6-0 at halftime following a try to Panthers winger Josh Mansour, the Broncos turned that deficit around to lead 12-6 through tries from Wallace and bench forward Ben Te'o.
Panthers five-eighth Lachlan Coote's try then set the game up for a thrilling finish.