The NYC Panthers overcame an error-riddled performance to defeat the Brisbane Broncos 12-10 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday.
The result extended the side's unbeaten streak to 16 games, but only after a serious scare.
The NYC Panthers welcomed back Rob Jennings from injury while the side was also bolstered by the inclusion of Dylan Edwards, Tyrone May and Oliver Clark.
The Broncos opened the scoring in the fifth minute as hooker Kalolo Saitaua burrowed his way over from dummy half. The simple conversion made it 6-0.
The Panthers were scrappy throughout the first half. Simple errors in the play-the-ball regularly gifted Brisbane attacking possession and they took advantage again in the 29th minute through winger David Fauid.
The Panthers finally got their lines right with six minutes to play before the break as Corey Waddell cut back on the last tackle. He just managed to find enough space to reach out and score between the posts. Jarome Luai slotted the conversion from directly in front to make it 10-6.
Dylan Edwards saved the day at the back for the Panthers in the shadows of halftime. A kick was put over the top with Broncos winger Fauid seemingly destined to get to the ball first for a simple try. However Edwards showed impressive pace to appear on the scene just in time and shut down the play.
HALFTIME – Broncos 10-6
The Panthers picked up in the second half where they left off in the first – more errors. Every time an attacking opportunity, loose hands let the visitors down.
The match boiled over in the 55th minute as Jack Hetherington responded to a cheap shot from Broncos prop Max Elliott with some punches. Both players were duly sent to the sin bin.
From there both sides struggled to break the line and the match descended into a mid-field grind. With no change to the score, both sin-binned players returned to the field.
With seven minutes to play Luai looked like he had pulled out the perfect grubber for Edwards to swoop on and score. However the ball thudded into the post and the chance was gone.
Just as the match looked like it would slip away, a Tyrone May fifth-tackle chip earned a dropout. From the next set a well-placed May bomb was secured by winger Daniel Brown, who touched down for the try with four minutes left to play.
Luai stepped up and slotted the conversion from out wide, putting the Panthers in the lead for the first time in the contest, 12-10 in the 78th minute.
However the win wasn’t theirs without some desperate scrambling defence to shut down a final Broncos attack.
FULLTIME – Panthers 12-10