Brisbane have defeated Wests Tigers 16-14 in their NRL clash at Campbelltown Stadium, with Corey Oates scoring two tries for the Broncos.
Brisbane scraped home for a 16-14 NRL win over Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night on the back of a dubious late call from referee Gavin Badger.
With the scores locked at 14-14 in the 77th minute, Badger ruled that Tigers winger Pat Richards held back Lachlan Maranta after a Dale Copley break, when Copley’s pass to the Broncos’ flanker appeared to go forward and the play had all but died when Richards made his play.
It was a tough call for Wests and Ben Hunt’s successful penalty kick was the difference between the two sides.
The home side pressed for a win in the seconds before fulltime after a Ben Barba knock-on on his goalline, but a Luke Brooks inside ball was pounced on by Jack Reed as the siren sounded.
With both sides minus their State of Origin stars – Robbie Farah for the Tigers and Justin Hodges and Corey Parker for the Broncos – Corey Oates opened the scoring for the visitors in the sixth minute from a Ben Hunt short ball 10m out.
Hunt converted for a 6-0 lead – the only points of a poor first half from both teams that was littered with handling errors.
Brooks took command of the match after the break with his kicking game and two of his kicks led to tries for Wests in the 42nd and 59th minutes.
The rookie halfback kicked for himself three times to ground the ball just short of the deadball line in a great individual try, two minutes after the break.
Brooks then kicked off his non-preferred right foot in the 59th minute for Bodene Thompson to touch down.
Richards’ second conversion, after a Hunt penalty in the 46th minute, put the Tigers ahead for the first time in the match.
Oates crossed for his second in the 63rd minute after Maranta offloaded a Hunt kick for the Broncos to wrestle back the ascendancy 14-12 with 15 minutes left.
A 43m Richards penalty tied the scores up again in the 68th minute at 14-14.
After only 6456 fans saw the Tigers beat North Queensland in April, a near-sellout crowd of 16,511 was a boost to the joint venture after they committed midweek to playing NRL games at the venue for four more years.
Tigers coach Mick Potter said he couldn’t understand how the late penalty was awarded against Richards.
“We were poor in some areas and unfortunately they got a penalty where I am struggling to see how there was a penalty there.
“It was disappointing for us.”
The match was the 15th season celebration of the joint venture’s maiden game, played against the Broncos in February 2000.
The loss extends the Tigers’ run against the Broncos to just four wins in 23 matches.
Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin said he was pleased with his side’s defence at the death as they held out the Tigers.
“I’m proud of them and proud of the way they toughed it out,” he said.
However Griffin said he didn’t see the incident that led to Hunt’s telling penalty goal.
“I’m not sure about the call,” he said.
“I will have to have a look at it.”