Lockyer injured as Broncos beat Cowboys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer injured as Broncos beat Cowboys

By Laine Clark 13/07/2007 11:18:48 PM Comments (0)

Friday the 13th proved unlucky for Darren Lockyer, despite the Brisbane skipper sparking a gutsy 24-16 NRL win over arch-rivals the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville.

And luck was hardly at a premium for North Queensland either as they rued a disallowed 43rd minute try to halfback Johnathan Thurston for obstruction and a 30th minute ankle injury to veteran playmaker Jason Smith despite fighting back from 24-4 at half-time.

Lockyer, 30, will learn as early as Saturday the extent of a knee injury suffered in the dying minutes of the Broncos' fifth-straight victory.

The classy pivot was again at his inspirational best in his 275th game for Brisbane - an outright record for the club.

But his heroics were cut short just four minutes from full-time when he looked to change direction as he ran the ball up and his right knee buckled under his weight.

Broncos doctor Matt Hislop revealed Lockyer had aggravated the knee earlier in the match but opted to soldier on.

"Darren injured his knee at some time in the second half. He tweaked it a couple of times up until when he had to come off," Hislop said.

"We are not sure what he has done but we are worried about it and will get a scan done when we get back to Brisbane tomorrow."

The Broncos side was carrying six Origin representatives and can il-afford another addition to an injury list that includes Justin Hodges (knee, four weeks), Sam Thaiday (ankle, one week) and Brent Tate (knee, season).

"He is always inspirational, nothing changes with him," Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said of Lockyer's game.

"He was sore throughout the game. In the second half somewhere he took a knock, he played on and it deteriorated.

"When he started to put his weight on it, it started to give way."

While Bennett gushed about the Broncos' "gutsy" win, the result could have been different if Thurston's second-half effort was not disallowed.

Video referee Tim Mander ruled that Cowboys centre Scott Minto obstructed Steve Michaels as Thurston evaded three defenders to crash over in the 43rd minute.

"That's the rule - he went across and made contact with Steve Michaels. When we were in the box I looked and thought 'God, that's obstruction'," Bennett said.

Cowboys coach Graham Murray clearly disagreed.

"There were three blokes having a go at Johnathan Thurston and all three couldn't stop him from getting to the try line, the winger then decided to go for Scott Minto ... in my opinion it should have been a try," he said.

"I'm still a bit confused about the obstruction. It seems like you just touch someone and it's back to what we had before."

North Queensland still hit back to cut the deficit to 24-16 when electric fullback Matt Bowen weaved through six would-be defenders to touch down in the 60th minute.

Smith - who suffered a sprained ankle when he collided with Broncos prop Ben Hannant - is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Down 24-4 at half-time and without the services of Smith, the Cowboys still lifted in front of a sold-out Dairy Farmers Stadium crowd of 25,126.

However, Brisbane were not to be denied as they marched to fifth placing on the NRL ladder, although a feat dampened by the worrying injury to Lockyer.

It is a remarkable turnaround by the Broncos, who began their title defence with a horror 1-4 start.

Brisbane ran amok in the first half, scoring tries through Dane Carlaw (9th minute), Michaels (18th), Karmichael Hunt (26th) and Corey Parker (36th).

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