A Darius Boyd hat-trick has inspired Brisbane’s 26-18 NRL win over Canberra at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, snapping a three-game losing run.
The Broncos finally came out of their funk against a gutsy Raiders outfit in front of 25,021 fans – but it may have come at a price.
Utility back Jordan Kahu was forced off the field in the 54th minute with a suspected shoulder complaint.
Kahu had only slotted into the centres on Thursday night as a replacement for England international Jack Reed, who is out indefinitely with his own shoulder complaint.
There were still plenty of positives for the Broncos.
Boyd scored a 14 minute hat-trick to help Brisbane jump to a 24-0 lead by the 44th minute.
They then held on as former Bronco Kurt Baptiste bagged a double of his own to ensure some anxious moments for the hosts.
The Raiders arrived at Suncorp Stadium full of confidence with a top-four berth in sight if they nabbed a fourth straight win.
But former ladder leaders Brisbane had other ideas.
Broncos captain Corey Parker ran out for his 336th NRL game, equalling Brad Fittler on fourth on the all-time games played list.
And it seemed nothing was going to stop him from celebrating the milestone, even fending off teammate Anthony Milford on his way to opening the scoring in the 25th minute.
Boyd then recovered from an early neck complaint from a suspected crusher tackle to beat Canberra halfback Aidan Sezer not once, but twice in four minutes – 30th and 34th – to give Brisbane a healthy 18-0 halftime buffer.
He bagged his hat-trick when he crossed in the 44th minute, handing Brisbane a 24-0 lead as alarm bells sounded for the visitors.
However, the Raiders were not done with yet.
Baptiste’s double (59th, 77th) and a Blake Austin try with 14 minutes left kept Brisbane honest.