As the Brisbane Broncos line up for their seventh grand final appearance, Flashback Friday takes a look at the club’s most recent appearance in a decider – the 15-8 upset victory over the Melbourne Storm in 2006.
Brisbane defied its underdog status to maintain the club’s perfect record in grand finals, the Broncos securing their sixth premiership with a gripping 15-8 defeat of runaway minor premiers Melbourne.
Playing in his 200th and final first grade game before heading to Super League, Storm five-eighth Scott Hill set up both of his side’s tries with trademark ball-playing wizardry. Hill bumped out of two tackles and popped a magnificent around-the-body pass for winger Steve Turner to score the first try of the decider, before sending centre Matt King over with a marvellous short ball to lock the game up at 8-all early in the second half.
Hill’s opposite and Brisbane skipper Darren Lockyer provided several moments of inspiration for the underdog Broncos – including laying on Justin Hodges’ first half try to set up an 8-4 halftime lead – but his hand in the match-winning try to Brent Tate was breathtaking.
Running the ball on the last tackle in the 61st minute, Lockyer linked with Corey Parker, who in turn found Casey McGuire. The utility threw a speculator over his head, which was scooped up by Lockyer. The captain released Tonie Carroll into space, and Carroll drew Billy Slater for Brent Tate to score in the corner, finishing a 45-metre movement and setting up a 14-8 lead.
Lockyer nailed a field goal with seven minutes remaining to seal a memorable grand final boilover, while hooker Shaun Berrigan’s tenacious performance in shutting down Storm danger-man Greg Inglis saw him adorned with the Clive Churchill Medal, and veteran prop Shane Webcke retired in triumph.
Commentary Box Sports’ Will Evans ranked the Broncos-Storm rivalry at No.16 in his new book, Rugby League Rivalries, which ranks the top 100 all-time premiership club rivalries.Rugby League Rivalriesis available at all good bookstores and department stores or online.