Broncos destroy disappointing Cowboys
A rampaging Broncos outfit has destroyed an underwhelming Cowboys side 44-22 in a lopsided Queensland derby at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Brisbane piled on eight tries to four in front of a crowd of over 40,000 to record their biggest win over their Queensland rivals since the corresponding fixture in 2008.
WATCH: Corey Parker scores a rare try
WATCH: Full match highlights
WATCH: Broncos press conference
WATCH: Cowboys press conference
The damage was done in the first half with the Broncos enjoying a 32-6 lead heading into the sheds.
It was first time since Round 14, 2002 that the Broncos had scored more than 30 points in the opening half against the Cowboys.
The 22-point defeat leaves the Cowboys 0-3 to start the season and with games against the Storm (home), Panthers (away) and Rabbitohs (away) to follow, Paul Green's men face a true test of their character over the coming weeks.
Lachlan Maranta scored two tries for the hosts with Jordan Kahu, Alex Glenn, Anthony Milford and Corey Parker standouts, with the latter making a customary three offloads to compliment his 206 metres, one try and try assist.
Despite the one-sided contest, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was still disappointed with some aspects of his side's performance.
The Broncos were up 44-12 inside the final 20 minutes but leaked two late tries.
"There was lot of things about our performance I didn’t like. That's why I'm here – to get it better," Bennett said.
"It wasn't so much the last 20 minutes – the first 60 (minutes) annoyed me as much as last 20 – just a few different things.
"It's not big, glaring things. It's just small things that against the really good teams they are going to hurt you.
"That's why we need to get better and we are getting better. The scoreboard kind of inflated us a fair but I thought."
Down by 26 points heading into the second stanza, North Queensland had to open the scoring and they did so two minutes in when Kyle Feldt crossed out wide.
Lachlan Coote snatched a bomb from the grasp of opposite number Jordan Kahu with the ball eventually finding the Cowboys winger and Johnathan Thurston's conversion narrowing the deficit to 20 points.
Hopes of a Cowboys revival stalled in the 47th minute when Broncos skipper Justin Hodges scooped up a loose pass and lumbered his way over the line despite the attention of Thurston.
Parker struck his conversion attempt sweetly to hand Brisbane a 38-12 lead.
The Broncos crossed for their eighth try of the night in the 57th minute when Kahu strolled over the line with the hosts now up 44-12.
A runaway try to Kyle Feldt, his second of the game, added little consolation for North Queensland although a late try to Justin O'Neill narrowed the score-line to 44-22 at fulltime.
Early in the first half North Queensland had a try disallowed when Jason Taumalolo crashed over the line, however the video referee deemed that Gavin Cooper obstructed Hunt in the defensive line and the Broncos were awarded a penalty.
From the next set Brisbane received another penalty and from that Hunt found himself close to the line, threw a dummy and burrowed under four Cowboys to plant the ball down for the opening try and a 6-0 lead after Parker's conversion.
The Broncos doubled their lead in the 12th minute when Josh McGuire stormed over the line after a feeble tackle by James Tamou, allowing the prop to snare only his seventh try in 116 first grade appearances.
It would be McGuire's last contribution in the match as he succumbed to concussion soon after and did not return.
North Queensland struck back five minutes later after a play-the-ball mistake by Kahu five metres out from his line.
The Cowboys found numbers on Brisbane's left edge in the resulting set allowing Michael Morgan to slice through the line to take the score to 12-6 after Thurston's conversion.
Brisbane almost extended their lead in the 25th minute when winger Lachlan Maranta raced 90 metres down the touchline after gathering the ball inside his own in-goal.
The Cowboys spilt the ball coming out of their own end in the next set and the Broncos made them pay when they found numbers on the right with Kahu skilfully tapping the ball on to Maranta who snuck over in the corner for a deserved try.
Parker's effort from the sideline was waved away, keeping the score at 16-6 in the 28th minute.
The Broncos took the score out to 22-6 eight minutes from half-time when an Anthony Milford inside ball found Alex Glenn in space, dishing off to an unmarked Parker who strolled over for his first try since Round 25, 2013.
The game went from bad to worse for the Cowboys when Maranta found the line again after another audacious pass from Kahu sent the Broncos flyer over in the corner for a 26-6 lead.
Another Broncos try, this time to Andrew McCullough, and Parker's ensuing conversion took the score to 32-6 at half-time.
Brisbane Broncos 44 (Lachlan Maranta 2, Ben Hunt, Josh McGuire, Corey Parker, Andrew McCullough, Justin Hodges, Jordan Kahu tries; Corey Parker 6 goals) def. North Queensland Cowboys 22 (Kyle Feldt 2, Michael Morgan, Justin O'Neill tries; Johnathan Thurston 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Broncos 32-6. Crowd: 40,047. On Report: Matt Scott (High contact - 72nd minute).