Broncos mistakes mar Parker's milestone
Eight points was the magic number Corey Parker needed to eclipse Darren Lockyer as Brisbane's all-time leading points-scorer, although the selfless Broncos veteran says he would have preferred the two competition points instead.
Brisbane fell to their second consecutive Telstra Premiership defeat after Friday's 18-16 loss against the Bulldogs to leave the once comfortable ladder-leaders desperately clinging onto first place with the Cowboys breathing down their necks.
The two-point loss in front of a Suncorp Stadium crowd of 34,082 was Brisbane's first defeat in nine matches at home and denied 33-year-old Parker the perfect ending to his record-breaking evening.
The 316-game workhorse surpassed Lockyer's total of 1,191 points for the Broncos when he converted his own try in the 70th minute to help set up a thrilling finish in the NRL Indigenous Round clash.
However, the resilient Bulldogs held their nerve and held the ball, something the Broncos struggled to do all night with a total of 13 errors compared to Canterbury's five.
Always the ultimate clubman, Parker remained humble when reflecting upon breaking Lockyer's record.
"I've been very fortunate to be a part of a great club for long period of time and to take a record like that away from a legend of the game is something very special," Parker said.
"It was nice to [break the record] in Brisbane. Throughout my career I've had so much support from my friends, family and fans it was nice to be able to repay them in a way.
"But having said that we did lose the game so it would’ve been sweeter if we got the two points.
"We had our opportunities but we failed to execute them and in the big games that's what you need to do."
The Broncos looked a much sharper side than the one that fell 44-14 to Manly last week, racing out to an early 10-0 lead before some rugged Bulldogs defence forced the home side into making mistakes.
Canterbury completed 89 per cent of their sets compared to the Broncos' 74 per cent, and when the Dogs didn't have the ball they only missed 12 tackles to Brisbane's 32.
Despite some obvious mistakes, including kicking the ball dead on two occasions resulting in seven-tackle sets, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett was happy with the improvement his side showed after the debacle against the Sea Eagles.
"We were gutsy and stuck at it, but we made too many mistakes," Bennett said.
"We eliminated [those mistakes] but in the past two or three weeks we've been letting our standards drop a bit.
"We turned up here tonight but didn't have the ball control that's necessary to win at this level.
"We've just got to get back into getting that right again – whether it be fifth-tackle plays and making sure the ball stays in the field of play or whatever it may be."
With their minor premiership hopes now hanging by a thread, the Broncos must now regroup looking ahead to tough games against the Dragons (home), Roosters (away), Rabbitohs (away) and Storm (home) heading into the finals.
"We lost it not because of a lack of effort or guys not turning up like what happened last week in Sydney," Bennett added.
"We had one team that completed extremely well with the ball and the other team completed poorly. The effort from both sides was great but it will always come down to execution.
"Canterbury has played two out of the last four grand finals so they're a quality footy team and that's what we're going to face next month and the month after that.
"We've just got to get our act together – we were much improved on last week.
"We've won a lot of close games this year and we just happened to lose one of them tonight."