Player ratings: ‘Darius Boyd’s time is up’
THE fumbling, bumbling and stumbling Broncos do not deserve to - and won't - play finals.
And that's the cold, hard truth despite them getting out of jail with a late but lacklustre win over a Cowboys side with more casualties than an episode of "MASH" in the QLD Derby on Thursday night.
Apart a bright start, Brisbane were just bloody awful. The last-tackle options were terrible, the handling was abysmal.
It was difficult to watch. It was bottom-of-the-table trash.
But they still managed to claim arguably the ugliest win in the club's proud history.
If they play like that against a decent side close to full strength, they'll get lapped. You know, like Melbourne the week before when they punished the Ponies.
Brisbane have to play Penrith, Souths, Parramatta and Canterbury in the last month and pretty much need to win them all to make the top eight. You can't see that happening, can you?
After that error-riddled mess, it's a matter of when, not if, they get knocked out of the running.
There's been some amazing Queensland derbies in recent years - enough for a boxset of DVDs.
But that eyesore will not make the final cut.
ANTHONY MILFORD - 6.5
Terrorised the Cowboys back three with those towering spiral bombs. Backed up nicely down the middle of the field for the opening try of the match when it looked like it might be a decent game of footy. One fumble deep inside his own territory but one of the better Broncos. Kicked for 270 metres but needed to take charge of the spluttering attack.
COREY OATES - 5.5
Ran for 95 metres in a relatively quiet night for the SSS (Suncorp Stadium Specialist). A couple of nice angled runs put pressure on the North Queensland defence and forced penalties.
KOTONI STAGGS - 5
Fumbled the ball from dummy-half late in the first half to put his side under immense pressure but the cooked Cowboys were unable to capitalise. Didn't kick the ball out on the full from a kick-off like last week so that was a plus. Didn't see a lot of action with 62 running metres and nine tackles.
GEHAMAT SHIBASAKI - 5.5
Had his own Phil Sigsworth-Phil Duke moment (look it up on YouTube kids) when he lost the ball in his own in-goal to hand the Cowboys their opening try. Bounced back to finish with a strong 110 running metres.
JAMAYNE ISAAKO - 6
Lovely double-pump pass to put Milford away for the first try of the night. Allowed a North Queensland bomb to bounce after a miscommunication with Milford to create all sorts of Benny Hill Show-style havoc. Ran for 142 metres.
DARIUS BOYD - 4
Just the one run for two metres. Touched the ball 13 times in attack - as many times as each of Brisbane's wingers. Simply not a factor in attack. No team that wants to play finals can afford to carry a passenger in the halves. Offered no playmaking support to Turpin and Milford. Time is up.
JAKE TURPIN - 8
Fresh from signing a contract extension, proved to be the match-winner with a late try. Could have scored a second try for the night but spilled the ball as he was attempting to ground it. Collected a 40-20 in a mixed bag of a kicking game. Throw in 20 tackles and he had a very busy game with no help from his halves partner.
MATT LODGE - 6.5
Got into a running battle with serial Cowboys pest Josh "Busy Fingers" McGuire but still managed to reel off 137 running metres and 27 tackles.
ANDREW MCCULLOUGH - 6.5
Looks so much better when he has the occasional dart from dummy-half. Had three runs for a whopping 59 metres as he sliced the Cowboys open in the first half. Missed a tackle on Jake Clifford who crossed the tryline but dodged a bullet due to the stupid obstruction rule that shows no feel for the game.
PAYNE HAAS - 8
A model of consistency with 111 running metres at halftime and 222 by fulltime. Broke seven tackles and made 26 of his own. A matter of when - not if - he's the best forward in the game.
DAVID FIFITA - 7.5
His pace, strength and footwork worried the Cowboys all night and he eventually cracked the Cowboys wide open in the second half when he shrugged off McGuire to score a brilliant individual try to help Brisbane level the scores.
TEVITA PANGAI Jnr - 7
A wild night from the bloke who destroyed the Cowboys in Round 2. A beautiful offload sparked Milford's try and a strip on Matt Scott forced a crucial turnover. Ran for 107 metres and made 22 tackles too. Got distracted by McGuire too much and rushed out of the defensive line to open up space for Jake Clifford who scored. Dropped the ball in a play-the-ball one metre out from his own line.
JOE OFAHENGAUE - 7
Not flashy but very effective. Ran for 144 metres with two tackle breaks and 20 tackles in a typical tradesman-like performance.
JAMES SEGEYARO - 5
Saw no action in the first half but gave Brisbane a lift when he was injected into the game in the second half. Three darts for 32 metres and three tacklebreaks and 14 tackles.
TOM FLEGLER - 4
Spilled a straight-forward pass as soon as he got on the field with Brisbane deep in attack. Should have tried to pass to Boyd after McCullough made his slicing run. Put on report for a shoulder charge. Unhappy night but had 67 running metres and 21 tackles.
RHYS KENNEDY - 4
Kept on the bench for the first half. Had one hit-up for nine metres and made eight tackles in a cameo.
PATRICK CARRIGAN - 6.5
Ran for 72 metres and made nine tackles in the first half after being the first Bronco off the bench. Finished with 111 metres and 25 tackles. Has gone and got himself a sensible, no-nonsense haircut and produced a no-nonsense performance with punch off the bench.