Broncos staring at mid-season trouble - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Broncos staring at mid-season trouble

By Michael Crutcher 11/07/2003 10:40:59 PM Comments (0)

The Bulldogs made competition leader Brisbane swallow another mid-season loss but the Broncos at least had something to smile about - there is apparently nothing wrong with the surface at Suncorp Stadium.

Stand-in Brisbane captain Andrew Gee and Bulldogs skipper Dennis Scott both rated the controversial surface at the new complex better than the field at Sydney's showpiece Telstra Stadium.

And that's about the only good news Brisbane could take from the 40-4 thrashing as the Bulldogs ran in seven tries in a promising surge towards September's finals.

The Broncos are set to lose the premiership lead to Penrith while also staring at their third consecutive loss if their weary representative players don't overcome dangerous Melbourne at Olympic Park next Sunday.

The Broncos were without 10 players because of next Wednesday's final State of Origin match, leaving Bulldogs coach Steve Folkes reluctant to compare his team's classy performance to last Sunday's thrashing of Newcastle.

But it was hard to fault the Bulldogs, also missing five topline players.

The visitors scooted to a 22-0 lead at halftime with halfback Brent Sherwin flooring Brisbane with a series of sharp attacking moves, scoring two tries and engineering another for fullback Luke Patten.

Sherwin's dominance overcame an enthusiastic start from the Broncos, who struggled to recover from the loss of five-eighth Brett Seymour to a foot injury in the sixth minute.

Leg injuries have been common since the redeveloped Suncorp Stadium hosted its first match six weeks ago, but Seymour (suspected broken bone) and debutant forward Sam Thaiday (ankle) couldn't blame the surface for their unlucky injuries.

"There's nothing wrong with the field. Maybe at the start it was a bit sandy but tonight it was a fairly good surface," Gee said.

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