Baby Broncos triumph 24-16 over Panthers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Baby Broncos triumph 24-16 over Panthers

By Philip Henderson 30/06/2007 09:52:54 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane have surged into the NRL top eight for the first time this season after overcoming a disappointing Penrith 24-16 at CUA Stadium.

After a turbulent week for both clubs - which saw Penrith skipper Craig Gower granted a release to play club rugby union in France and Brisbane veteran Petero Civoniceva sign with the Panthers from 2008 - the baby Broncos triumphed after sprinting to an early 18-0 lead and then withstanding a Panthers fightback.

It was Brisbane's third straight win and it came with seven players missing through Queensland Origin duty.

For the Panthers, it was their fourth straight defeat, leaving the club rooted to the bottom of the table, now six points adrift of the finals position.

The Broncos surged to an 18-0 lead in the opening half-hour on the back of a superb first half from Michael Ennis.

The halfback set up Brisbane's first try for David Stagg in the fourth minute before scoring himself from the scrumbase in the 16th.

Backrower Corey Parker made it 18-0 when he barged over in the 30th minute.

But after a dismal opening half hour, the Panthers suddenly came to life in the 34th when centre Michael Jennings scored a candidate for try of the year.

A clever Frank Pritchard flick pass to Jennings set the 60m play in motion.

Jennings busted through the defensive line before offloading to winger Geoff Daniela, who in turn passed back to Pritchard to then throw the final ball to Jennings to score.

Ennis came up big in defence soon after, pulling off a superb covering tackle to deny Nick Youngquest a try in the 38th.

But the Panthers made the most of their brief resurgence to cut the deficit to 18-10 at the break when Daniela touched down a Gower cross-field kick on the stroke of halftime.

After doing little wrong in the first half, Ennis went quickly from hero to villain in the opening exchanges of the second.

He failed to find touch after the Broncos were awarded a penalty deep in their own half, with Tony Puletua scoring a try from the subsequent set of six to cut the margin to 18-16.

Adding further insult, Ennis then booted the ball out on the full from the re-start.

But just as the Panthers looked to be getting on top, Brisbane swung the momentum back in their favour when utility John Te Reo broke through some flimsy Penrith defence to send Darius Boyd sprinting over for what proved a match-winning eight-point lead.

In further bad news for the Panthers, interchange forward John Nuumaalii was put on report for a high tackle on Shane Perry in the 70th minute.

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