Take Five Broncos v Cowboys
Take Five Broncos v Cowboys

The five greatest Cowboys v Broncos games

A RIVALRY can't just be georgraphical - there needs to be great games to back it up.

And the Broncos and Cowboys have provided in spades.

Before they clash again tonight at the new Townsville Stadium, we put the question out to see which match between the two was the greatest of all.

Here's what we came up with.

 

Brisbane captain Allan Langer arrives for a press conference to announce his retirement from game in 1999. Picture: David Kapernick
Brisbane captain Allan Langer arrives for a press conference to announce his retirement from game in 1999. Picture: David Kapernick

 

1. COWBOYS 20 def BRONCOS 20

Dairy Farmers Stadium, April 25, 1999

THIS was the seventh derby between the sides and it led to one of biggest bombshells in Broncos history.

The Broncos, defending premiers, went to Townsville in a wobbly state after starting the new 1999 campaign with just one win from seven rounds.

Then, after the struggling Cowboys, who had yet to beat Brisbane, held Big Brother to a 20-all draw, coach Wayne Bennett was left in a state of shock.

His star playmaker, the little champion Allan Langer, stunned the code by announcing his retirement, effectively immediately.

It plunged Red Hill into crisis and while the Broncos somehow recovered to sneak into the finals, Langer's decision to retire, conjured in his own head midway through the derby, was a stunning moment.

 

Steve Southern, Mitchell Sargent and Leigh McWilliams salute the crowd after the match.
Steve Southern, Mitchell Sargent and Leigh McWilliams salute the crowd after the match.

 

2. COWBOYS 10 def BRONCOS 0

Dairy Farmers Stadium, semi-final, September 18, 2004

WHAT a game. It will be remembered as the semi-final boilover which put North Queensland on the map as an NRL club.

For years the downtrodden ugly sibling to the mighty Broncos, the Cowboys finally began to enjoy success and qualified for the 2004 playoffs.

Then came the biggest moment in their history at that stage - a sudden-death semi-final showdown with the Broncos before a packed house in Townsville.

Almost 25,000 fans went delirious as the Cowboys stunned the Broncos to record their first ever derby win in nine years after 16 previous failures.

Cowboys utility David Myles scored the only try and the home side tackled like demons to hold the star-studded Broncos scoreless.

The build-up was drama-charged with Broncos skipper Gorden Tallis sensationally demoted to the bench before kick-off.

It proved to be his final game for the Broncos - and he has never forgiven Wayne Bennett for benching him.

When the full-time siren sounded, Cowboys coach Graham Murray hugged players as if they had won the grand final.

 

Kyle Feldt goes in for the try to tie the game. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Kyle Feldt goes in for the try to tie the game. Picture: Phil Hillyard

 

3. COWBOYS 17 def BRONCOS 16

ANZ Stadium, NRL grand final, October 4, 2015

WE will never forget it. One of the greatest grand-finals in NRL history in the code's first all-Queensland decider.

The Broncos went in as narrow favourites and largely looked the better side, striking first through Corey Oates to set-up a 14-12 half-time lead.

When Cowboys centre Kane Linnett dropped a pass with the tryline wide open in the second half, it seemed like the Broncos' night.

Then the contest turned on its head. With Brisbane clinging to a 16-12 lead with seconds remaining, Cowboys pivot Michael Morgan made one last attacking raid and released Kyle Feldt, who touched down in the corner to the heartbreak of Broncos fans. 16-all.

From the sideline, Johnathan Thurston's conversion slammed into the upright, sending the decider into extra-time. And then more drama.

From the kick-off, Broncos halfback Ben Hunt dropped a sitter and almost shed tears as the scrum packed.

From the ensuing set, Thurston stepped up as the hero, snapping a field-goal to bury the Broncos and seal the Cowboys' maiden premiership. Oh what a night.

 

Kodi Nikorima goes on the burst during the qualifying final. Picture: Adam Head
Kodi Nikorima goes on the burst during the qualifying final. Picture: Adam Head

 

4. BRONCOS 16 def COWBOYS 12

Suncorp Stadium, qualifying final, August 17, 2015

THIS was the game that reignited the Queensland derby and took it to a whole new level.

The Broncos emerged victorious 16-12 in a classic encounter at Suncorp Stadium in the first week of the finals.

Bench weapon Kodi Nikorima was the hero for Brisbane, making a crucial line break late in the game to put Anthony Milford over for the winning try.

A late surge from the Cowboys wasn't enough as the Broncos hung on to claim a gripping win in front of more than 50,000 fans.

The two teams would go on to meet again a few weeks later.

 

Ben Hunt and Lachlan Maranta celebrate as Anthony Milford kicks the field goal. Picture: Darren England
Ben Hunt and Lachlan Maranta celebrate as Anthony Milford kicks the field goal. Picture: Darren England

 

5. BRONCOS 21 def COWBOYS 20

Suncorp Stadium, March 25, 2016

THE rivalry picked up where it left off with the first encounter after the 2015 grand final producing another epic contest at Suncorp Stadium.

Milford was again Brisbane's hero, setting up a late try which looked to be the match-winner.

But Thurston came back to haunt the Broncos with a late penalty goal to send the game into extra-time.

Morgan nearly produced another epic play to put Feldt over, but the pass was called forward and Milford snapped his own field goal this time from 40m out to give the Broncos some sort of revenge after the previous year's grand final heartbreak.

 

 



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