Ladder-leading Broncos trounce Tigers
The Broncos have survived a second-half scare to hold out a spirited Wests Tigers outfit 42-16 as Sunday afternoon football returned to Suncorp Stadium for Men of League Heritage Round.
A crowd of 37,260 were on hand to see the Broncos play their first day match at Suncorp Stadium since Round 12, 2014, but were made to sit through some nervous moments after half-time.
Brisbane opened up a 26-0 lead at the break but were sluggish in the early stages of the second half, allowing the Tigers to score three unanswered tries in a nine-minute period to reduce the deficit to 10 points.
However, the Broncos demonstrated why they are favourites to snare their fifth minor premiership – and possibly a seventh premiership – with three late tries to inflate their lead.
Lachlan Maranta scored three tries for the hosts who notched their 14th win of the season and move to 32 Telstra Premiership competition points.
Brisbane's haul of 42 points marked the fourth occasion this season where they've scored 40 or more points in a match.
After a scrappy start Brisbane opened the scoring in the seventh minute through Maranta, who was the beneficiary of Ben Hunt's 40-metre bust in the previous play.
The Broncos crossed for their second when Andrew McCullough rifled a short ball from dummy-half to send Alex Glenn over the line.
Wests Tigers had two golden opportunities to score midway through the second half but were denied by the hand of Broncos winger Jordan Kahu on their first attempt and by a spilt ball over the try line for their second chance.
Their failure to capitalise proved costly for the inexperienced Tigers as the Broncos scored again with interchange prop Jarrod Wallace diving over under the posts to take Brisbane's lead out to 16-0 after 29 minutes.
Anthony Milford's clever grubber kick into the path of Glenn enabled the Kiwi back-rower to snare his second try three minutes before half-time.
Milford was involved again moments later when his no-look pass sent Darius Boyd into the clear allowing the fullback to send Jack Reed over in the corner.
The Broncos centre miraculously avoided putting a boot on the touchline despite receiving heavy contact from Tigers winger Kevin Naiqama and planted the Steeden down for Brisbane's fifth try of the afternoon.
Brisbane's lead remained on 26 points as Kahu failed to convert Reed's try on the stroke of half-time.
The Tigers came out with increased enthusiasm in the second stanza and were rewarded with a try to Ava Seumanufagai in the 45th minute despite question marks surrounding Luke Brooks' final pass.
Lazy marker defence allowed Manaia Cherrington to burrow his way over the line to narrow the deficit to 16 points with 30 minutes left on the clock.
The Tigers found the try-line again three minutes later through Mitchell Moses after the 20-year-old latched onto a pass from Naiqama who had initially found space down the touchline.
After missing his second conversion attempt Pat Richards made no mistake with his third to bring the Tigers within 10 points of Brisbane.
Moses found himself in the action again on 60 minutes when he nailed a 40/20 kick which dribbled over the touchline one metre before the corner post.
An injury to Tim Simona halted proceedings briefly and the Tigers failed to capitalise on their field position in the resulting set.
The Broncos allayed any fears of a Tigers comeback when Maranta completed his hat-trick with a further two tries and Corey Oates crashed over with less than two minutes remaining to take the final score to 42-16.
Brisbane Broncos 42 (Lachlan Maranta 3, Alex Glenn 2, Jarrod Wallace, Jack Reed, Corey Oates tries; Corey Parker 4, Jordan Kahu goals) defeated Wests Tigers 16 (Ava Seumanufagai, Manaia Cherrington, Mitchell Moses tries; Pat Richards 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 37,260. Half-time: Broncos 26-0.