Norman injured in Eels NRL loss to Broncos

Norman injured in Eels NRL loss to Broncos

Brisbane have their 2016 NRL campaign off to a winning start with a conservative 17-4 win over a Parramatta outfit, missing star recruit Kieran Foran, in Thursday night’s season opener.

Broncos winger Corey Oates was a first-half star, scoring one try and setting up another as last year’s grand finalists cantered to a 14-4 lead at the break.

Eels playmaker Corey Norman then failed to come out of the sheds, having landed on his neck in a legal but awkward Josh McGuire tackle just before halftime.

He didn’t return.

In front of an expectant crowd of 17,324 at Pirtek Stadium, Foran’s pre-game withdrawal left Auckland Nines hero Norman as the hosts’ lone threat in a trying opening 40 minutes.

He was crucial in setting up their first points of the season to Clinton Gutherson.

But without their first-choice pair, the Eels were rudderless with the ball in the second half, back-up Luke Kelly and fill-in Kenny Edwards struggling to find any gaps in an organised Broncos defence.

Still, Parramatta kept turning up with impressive defence to restrict the Broncos to just a penalty goal and a field goal in the second half.

At one stage, Michael Jennings almost came up with a try in his club debut but the referees’ bunker – also on debut – correctly and swiftly ruled double movement.

But the visitors showed why they’re the competition favourites, seeing off a number of raids on their tryline to secure the victory.

Earlier, Brisbane five-eighth Anthony Milford finished off an early entry for highlight of the season, completing a 60-metre try that began with a Corey Parker offload and included a chip ahead from Oates.

Jordan Kahu nabbed the opening try of the season before succumbing to a quad injury in the first half.

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