The south-east Queensland derby in round 1 of the 2016 NRL Finals is shaping up nicely – Brisbane began the season as the outright premiership favourite, while the Gold Coast are back playing finals footy for the first time since 2010 .
But the neighbouring clubs have a rich history of producing sensational clashes, regardless of the rivals’ respective fortunes. Throwback Thursday relives arguably the greatest Broncos-Titans showdown – a golden point classic at Suncorp Stadium in 2008.
With both clubs desperately vying to stay in the finals picture, Brisbane and Gold Coast produced yet another scintillating derby in front of a Suncorp crowd just shy of 40,000. Heroes abounded from both sides – Titans fullback Preston Campbell courageously played half a game with a broken jaw and was one of the best players on the field, while Darren Lockyer, who almost withdrew on game-day after being bed-ridden by illness in the lead-up, proved the Broncos’ match-winner.
It was a wildly fluctuating encounter: Brisbane prop Joel Clinton scored inside two minutes, but the Titans led 14-6 at halftime; the Broncos posted the first three tries of the second half and were 20-14 in front with 13 minutes remaining.
Josh Graham equalised for the Titans after the Broncos were unable to contain a Scott Prince bomb, before Mat Rogers narrowly missed with a field goal attempt from near halfway. Lockyer slotted a one-pointer from handy position in the 77th minute, but Rogers’ one-on-one strip allowed Prince to level the scores at 21-all with 90 seconds on the clock.
A remarkable game reached a sensational conclusion after three minutes of golden point. Lockyer, too rushed to set for a field goal on the Titans’ 40-metre line, ran the ball on the last, backed up to take a return pass from centre Joel Moon and found Greg Eastwood for the winning try.