Broncos record-breakers: Day Lote turned Immortal

 

Broncos ironman Corey Parker sits down with Travis Meyn and Peter Badel for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at four of Brisbane's record-breaking matches, while Kevin Walters remembers the club's historic first game. Sign up to Kayo now to watch the video and every game.

 

RECORD BREAKERS

- Round 1, 1988 at Lang Park

- Brisbane Broncos 44 (Wally Lewis 2, Terry Matterson 2, Joe Kilroy, Brett Le Man, Billy Noke tries; Matterson 8 goals) d Manly Sea Eagles 10 (Cliff Lyons, Dale Shearer tries; Michael O'Connor goal)

The Broncos came to life in extraordinary fashion.

In their first game, Brisbane thrashed reigning premiers Manly at Lang Park to announce themselves as a premiership powerhouse.

 

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Under Wayne Bennett, the Broncos assembled a team of Brisbane Rugby League stars and Sydney standouts for their first year.

Ipswich-born Kevin Walters was playing for Canberra when the Broncos came into the NSWRL, but remembers that momentous occasion vividly.

"It was very exciting times," said Walters, who joined Brisbane in 1990.

 

Greg Dowling and Brett Le Man celebrate a Broncos try in the club’s first match.
Greg Dowling and Brett Le Man celebrate a Broncos try in the club’s first match.

 

"I was at the Raiders because the Broncos weren't around when I came into the competition.

"The Broncos' first year in 1988, the world was looking on. Wally Lewis, Gene Miles, Greg Dowling, Allan Langer, Greg Conescu, Colin Scott … all these guys were lining up for the Broncos. I was watching with a lot of interest. We knew they'd be great.

"They were up against the defending premiers in Manly at Lang Park and put on a show.

"I remember Alfie (Allan Langer) getting knocked out and Brett Le Man scoring the first try for the Broncos.

"It was the Wally show. He was in everything. They put a great show on and showed everyone they would be a force to be reckoned with."

 

 

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- Round 9, 2002, at ANZ Stadium (Brisbane)

- Brisbane Broncos 50 (Lote Tuqiri 3, Darren Lockyer 2, Chris Walker 2, Corey Parker, Carl Webb tries; Tuqiri 7 goals) d Northern Eagles 12 (Tasesa Lavea, Scott Pethybridge tries; Lavea 2 goals)

Lote Tuqiri scored 56 tries in 99 games for the Broncos but few appearances were better than this.

Tuqiri racked up a club record 26 points as the Broncos thrashed the Northern Eagles 50-12. For Corey Parker, the match was memorable for a number of reasons.

"That game springs to mind after Lote scored a hat-trick," Parker said.

 

Lote Tuqiri celebrates scoring his third try. Picture: David Kapernick
Lote Tuqiri celebrates scoring his third try. Picture: David Kapernick

"I only scored 39 tries in my career but I scored one that day. It was at QEII stadium and we had this aura about us at that stadium. You used to walk through the tunnel and under the crowd and we had a great record there.

"Lote was in his prime. He scored three tries and kicked seven goals. He was at his devastating best and nearly single-handedly stood up.

"I tried to chase his 26 points down for a long time but he holds the record."

- Round 8, 2006, at Suncorp Stadium

- Brisbane Broncos 30 (Karmichael Hunt 2, Justin Hodges, Darren Lockyer, David Stagg tries; Corey Parker 4, Lockyer goals) d Canberra Raiders 28 (Adam Mogg 2, Jason Croker, Clinton Schifcofske, Alan Tongue tries; Schifcofske 4 goals)

Comebacks don't come much better than this.

Down 18-0 at Suncorp Stadium, the Broncos were staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat to the classy Canberra Raiders. That's when Broncos coach Wayne Bennett came up with his best work.

"It was Hodgo's (Justin Hodges) 100th game and we were down 18-0 at halftime," said Parker.

 

 

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"I had a lot of different halftime speeches from Wayne over the years, but the ones that resonated the deepest were when he didn't speak at all. There wasn't much talk going on after an ordinary half of football.

"We knew we had a decent side that year and we were starting to build.

 

A Karmichael clinic seals Brisbane’s biggest ever comeback in 2006. Picture: AAP/Action Photographics/Colin Whelan
A Karmichael clinic seals Brisbane’s biggest ever comeback in 2006. Picture: AAP/Action Photographics/Colin Whelan

 

"We went out and Karmichael Hunt put on a clinic, scoring a couple of tries, and we put 30 points on them in the second half.

"We had a big task but we got there in the end." The comeback remains Brisbane's biggest and the win put them on track to claiming the club's sixth premiership that season.

- Grand Final, 2006, at ANZ Stadium

- Brisbane Broncos 15 (Justin Hodges, Brent Tate tries; Darren Lockyer 2, Corey Parker goals; Lockyer field goal) d Melbourne Storm 8 (Matt King, Steve Turner tries)

The 2006 NRL grand final win remains the Broncos' most recent, with the title drought now stretching into its 15th year.

The Broncos were underdogs in legendary prop Shane Webcke's final game yet stunned Melbourne in a gripping decider.

In doing so, the Broncos became the second-fastest team to win six titles and did it in their 19th season. Parker said the seeds for winning the flag were planted early in the pre-season.

 

The Broncos celebrate their last title in 2006.
The Broncos celebrate their last title in 2006.

 

"I was loving the club and the team, we had this confidence that had been forged throughout the 2006 season," he said.

"On the back of the preliminary final win against Canterbury we were feeling really galvanised as a group.

"We knew we were going up against a red-hot side in Melbourne as underdogs, which suited us.

"We had a senior playing group which had non-negotiables in how we went about our business.

"Our game plan was very structured. It was easy to see what was going on but hard to stop. We completed really well and it was a high-quality game. Putting Shaun Berrigan at hooker gave us another dynamic.

 

 

 

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BRONCOS WEEK

PART I: Broncos' greatest rivalries and why JT is GOAT

PART II: Is this Brisbane's greatest ever matchwinner?

"A lot of people said we couldn't win with Shane Perry at halfback but we did.

"Darius Boyd was on the wing in his debut year. There was Karmichael Hunt and Justin Hodges.

"For a young forward like I was coming off the interchange … to find myself in a grand final alongside those guys in Shane Webcke's last game was sensational.

"It was the hardest pre-season I had done in my career. We changed everything and went on a week-long army camp. We forged a bond in the group where we didn't want to taste defeat."

- Round 11, 2007, at Suncorp Stadium

- Brisbane Broncos 71 (Tonie Carroll 2, Justin Hodges 2, Brent Tate 2, Darius Boyd, Petero Civoniceva, Greg Eastwood, Ben Hannant, Karmichael Hunt, Joel Moon tries; Michael Ennis 4, Corey Parker 4, Darren Lockyer 3 goals; Lockyer field goal) d Newcastle 6 (Jarrod Mullen try, Cory Paterson goal)

Sixty-five points.

That is how much the Broncos flogged Newcastle by in 2007 to record Brisbane's biggest ever win.

The Broncos ran in 12 tries on a stunning Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium to leave their fans in awe.

"It was an up and down year after the grand final win in 2006," Parker said.

 

It was raining tries at Suncorp in 2007.
It was raining tries at Suncorp in 2007.

 

"There aren't many games that you play where you feel you're in fast-forward and they're in slow motion. That was how it felt.

"We were pretty ordinary at the start of that year. We had to get going and what a way to do it.

"I remember the crowd going berserk. It was try after try.

"It felt like the gaps were bigger, we were faster, stronger, they were slow, everything just stuck. We were playing some pretty fair football."

Tonie Carroll, Justin Hodges and Brent Tate bagged doubles in the 71-point carve-up, while Darren Lockyer kicked a field goal to rub salt into Newcastle's wounds.

 

Originally published as Broncos record-breakers: Day Lote turned Immortal


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