What Queensland would have given to have clicked like this at Suncorp Stadium four days earlier.
Brisbane could do little wrong as they cruised to a 36-10 NRL win over Manly on Sunday, dulling some the pain of the State of Origin series-opening loss to NSW at the same venue for Maroons forwards Corey Parker and Matt Gillett.
And the impressive win was just what the Broncos faithful needed after a week that started with the NRL announcing it would launch a probe into potential salary cap irregularities at the Broncos.
Their third straight win in front of 32,017 fans provided a convincing argument that Brisbane players had not been distracted by potential irregularities over 2012-14 totalling $450,000.
Origin stars were scarce after Brisbane lost Justin Hodges (ankle) and Manly’s Anthony Watmough (biceps) and Daly Cherry-Evans (knee) pulled out.
However, Brisbane injected Sam Thaiday into a full-strength pack in his first game in six weeks and the Sea Eagles heralded the return of Kieran Foran and Jamie Lyon.
While Thaiday is expected to pressure for a Maroons backrow spot for June 18’s Origin II, Lyon has made it clear his self-imposed NSW exile since 2010 will remain despite a knee injury to Blues centre Josh Morris.
Brisbane set up a 20-4 half-time buffer by crossing twice early after the video referee gave the green light to winger Lachlan Maranta (4th minute) and Alex Glenn (8th) when they pounced on loose balls from tackles near the line.
Then centre Jack Reed bagged a double after running off Ben Hunt in the 16th minute and getting on the end of a Josh Hoffman grubber 10 minutes later.
Manly finally got on the board when a dummying Kieran Foran crossed in the 32nd minute.
Dale Copley (46th, 65th) notched his own try double before the match’s highlight in the 73rd minute.
Gillett scooped up a ball spilt by Steve Matai before racing 95m untouched down the sideline to score.
The Sea Eagles crossed again through Jamie Buhrer (70th minute) but their day was summed up when a 24th-minute Matai try was disallowed after Justin Horo obstructed Hunt in the lead-up.