A rampant Tevita Pangai jnr played like a man possessed to inspire the Broncos to a stunning 29-10 win over the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium, with Jason Taumalolo suffering a medial ligament injury and failing to return for the second half.
Pangai was on a mission from the get-go to intimidate the Cowboys and started off by smashing his Tongan team-mate Taumalolo.
That was a taste of what was to come with Pangai lining up former teammate Josh McGuire and Michael Morgan and dishing out similar treatment.
The Broncos were seeking a genuine enforcer to take on the star-studded Cowboys pack and Pangai answered coach Anthony Seibold’s call after being elevated to the starting line-up.
He had plenty of mates, with Joe Ofahangaue, Thomas Flegler, Jaydn Su’A and David Fifita all proving they are ready to led the way up front in the absence of the suspended Matt Lodge and Payne Haas.
Match: Broncos v Cowboys
Round 2 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
- Nine Network
- LIVE PASS
The injury to Taumalolo limited him to just 44 metres from eight runs in the first half with the Cowboys making little headway in the middle of the park.
Aside from being dominated up front, the Cowboys back five was completely outplayed by their Broncos counterparts.
A savage surge in the ninth minute by Pangai inspired the Broncos' first try with Jack Bird sending Corey Oates over for his 46th try at Suncorp Stadium, the most by any player at the venue.
James Roberts, fully recovered from the back spasm that limited his game time to five minutes last week against Melbourne, scored the only other try of the first half after Jamayne Isaako leapt high to snaffle a Kodi Nikorima bomb.
Cowboys winger Nene Macdonald failed an HIA and did not return after half-time. The Broncos led 10-nil at the break and three tries in eight minutes to Oates, Pangai and Roberts took that lead to 24-nil by the 50th.
Pangai’s try came on the back of a runaway train style of run that typified his night. Oates’ try followed one of the Broncos pet plays where halves Anthony Milford and Nikorima combined to create the extra man on the left.
Jordan Kahu and Justin O'Neill scored for the Cowboys after the game was decided.
Halves Te Maire Martin and Morgan were well below their best and were outplayed by Milford and Nikorima.
The performance of 19-year-old Broncos prop Flegler came in front of Queensland coach Kevin Walters who wants the next generation of Maroons props to stand up.
Flegler, up against a pack chock full of internationals, ran for 195 metres and played with aggression to state his credentials as a representative front-rower of the near future.