The New Zealand Warriors went into today’s match against the Brisbane Broncos with odds favouring a heavy defeat. In what can only be described as a game of two halves, the Warriors have come up trumps and have beaten the Brisbane locals on their home turf. The first half was a tightly fought affair with both teams sustaining some game ending injuries to some of their biggest playmakers. Isreal Folau was removed from the field with a dislocated finger; Denan Kemp went not long after with suspected fractured ribs. On the Warriors side, Captain Simon Mannering was taken off with a a Hamstring strain, and powerhouse wing Manu Vatuvei limped off with a similar looking injury. Time will tell how serious these injuries will be.
In an error ridden first half the Warriors managed to a one point get out to a 14 -4 lead before the Broncos came back to go into the half 14-10. A quick try in the first three minutes of the second half saw the home team take the lead 16-14. This would be the last time the locals would score while the Warriors ran in 34 points to take the game and several records in the process. New Warrior James Maloney, in only his third game for the team scored a hat trick of tries and nailed 8 goals to give him 28 points, equal to the club record for most points scored in a game, a record that is held by current coach Ivan Cleary. The second record was for the biggest scoreline against the Broncos by the Warriors and a finally it was also the biggest losing margin for the Brisbane team at their home ground of Suncorp Stadium.
The Warriors came out from the half time break as a different team, throwing the ball around and pushing the line through the fast dummy half play. Other than the opening second half try, the Broncos never really looked in the game with tight defence from the Warriors keeping them at bay. Standout performances from the Warriors would be Brent Tate again for his body on the line attack and defence, James Maloney had a cracker day slotting most goals and adding a hat trick to his name. New recruit Aaron Heremaia also proved deadly with his line breaks. Notable mention to Lance Hohaia and Wade McKinnon for their great performances on attack. For the Broncos, as usual Darren Lockyer played well and Sam Thiaday was always strong in his attack, unfortunately it was nowhere near enough to compete with the Warriors who just wanted it more.