Brisbane win bruising battle over Warriors

Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin prepared his players for an 80-minute grind all week and that’s exactly how their NRL clash with the Warriors unfolded at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

In the end, Brisbane emerged from the battle in wet and slippery conditions with a narrow 10-8 win in front of a crowd of 32,148.

The Warriors almost pulled off a stunning last play in the dying seconds before fullback Josh Hoffman dragged down giant Warriors winger Manu Vatuvei who flung the ball back infield to James Maloney.

With the siren blasting in the background, Maloney put a crossfield kick into the left corner which Brisbane winger Gerard Beale only just managed to bat over the dead ball line as a miracle try loomed large.

Brisbane snuck home on the boot of lock Corey Parker, whose 55th-minute penalty from 20 metres out broke an 8-8 halftime deadlock.

His goal was the only points of a dour second half defensive arm wrestle in a game which could have gone either way right until fulltime.

Brisbane bashed their way to a win but at a cost.

Young winger Dale Copley was forced from the game midway through the first half with a shin injury while skipper Sam Thaiday copped Vatuvei’s left knee flush on the jaw that forced him off in the second half.

Initial fears were Thaiday may have broken his jaw but the Origin star, who was not knocked out but heavily dazed, showed plenty of courage to return to the action and produced two tackles late in the half as the Warriors repeatedly threatened the Broncos line.

As expected, defence dominated with Parker backing his outstanding Origin form with 55 tackles while busy hooker Andrew McCullough (47) and starting prop Josh McGuire (44) also produced whole-hearted efforts.

It was a similar story for the Warriors with hooker Nathan Friend topping the tackle count with 47 closely followed by skipper Simon Mannering (45).

Unfortunately for Maloney it wasn’t his night with the boot, missing all three shots for goal.

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