Broncos big guns rock Dolphins, Tabuai-Fidow injured

Joel Gould |

Corey Oates got on the scoresheet as the Broncos continued their domination of the Dolphins.
Corey Oates got on the scoresheet as the Broncos continued their domination of the Dolphins.

Brisbane have powered home to beat fierce derby opponents the Dolphins 28-14, with the losers suffering another hammer blow as star fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow sustained a hamstring injury.

The Broncos led 6-4 at the break on Friday before scoring four tries in 14 minutes, three of them after Dolphins errors, with centre Selwyn Cobbo notching two and fullback Reece Walsh racing the length of the field.

“It was great from Selwyn. It was his sixth game in the centres,” Broncos coach Kevin Walters said.

Oates on the rampage
Oates on the rampage for the Broncos in their 28-14 triumph. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

“He’s a great ball runner, a big body, and it’s exciting that he is only going to get better in that position.

“The Battle of Brisbane is always hard. We were a lot better in the second half once we fixed up our discipline.”

A sell-out crowd of 46,224 watched the match at Suncorp Stadium.

Queensland representative Tabuai-Fidow left the field in the 21st minute after chasing after winger Corey Oates, while playmaker Kodi Nikorima finished on the sidelines with ice on a calf injury.

Willison scores
Xavier Willison ploughing over for a try in the Broncos’ triumph. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

The Dolphins had already lost three of their biggest stars to injury with forwards Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) and Thomas Flegler (shoulder), along with centre Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) all out of the game.

Tabuai-Fidow’s departure robbed the Dolphins of their main strike weapon in the third Battle of Brisbane, all of which have been won by the Broncos.

“Hammer (Tabuai-Fidow) told me he hasn’t had a hamstring injury for a while, but it’s not good. He could be gone for three or four weeks,” Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett said.

“We just didn’t complete and we knew they scored a lot of tries off kicks. We knew the dangers with that and we got a bit loose.

“I was happy with our effort. We could have thrown our hands in the air and they could have put 50 on us.”

Five-eighth Nikorima moved to fullback and bench utility Anthony Milford came on in the halves but the Dolphins lacked cohesion once they lost their dazzling custodian.

The best player on the field in the first half was giant 21-year-old prop Xavier Willison who trampled Nikorima to score and made his presence felt with multiple powerhouse charges.

Dolphins prop Jarrod Wallace, recalled on the bench, scored the opening try from an Isaiya Katoa bomb after it was dropped by winger Oates.

The Broncos hit back when Willison barged over Nikorima close to the line. 

Walsh looked dangerous
Reece Walsh looked dangerous on his return to action after a facial fracture. (Dave Hunt/AAP PHOTOS)

Walsh returned from three weeks on the sidelines with a facial fracture and looked dangerous but his timing was out on occasion.

Broncos second-rower Jaiyden Hunt dropped the ball over the line on the cusp of half-time, but after the break it was Oates who scored first after a stellar cut-out pass by No.6 Ezra Mam. 

Oates’s effort took him to 120 tries for the Broncos – their equal third-best alongside fellow winger Michael Hancock.

Dolphins centre Tesi Niu dropped the ball off an attacking kick and Walsh swooped, before Cobbo latched onto further errors by Nikorima and  Milford to put the result beyond doubt.

Dolphins wingers Jack Bostock and Jamayne Isaako scored late tries.