If you have never been to a Brisbane Second Division rugby league game on a Saturday afternoon you are definitely missing out. The nostalgic atmosphere of amateur rugby league, the smell of steak burgers from the canteen and beverages in the pig pen, makes for an entertaining game of park footy.
Entertaining was certainly the word on Saturday as Bowen River Broncos disposed of an injury-ravaged Pine Rivers 42-4 at Jim Lawrie Park, Brighton.
The Bowen River Broncos are a class act in Division Three. Currently sitting in third place on the ladder, this side produced a textbook effort against the Bears in what was an action-packed game from start to finish.
The Bears were in for a long afternoon, as the Broncos scored within four minutes of play courtesy of winger Gavin Duncan after a powerhouse run up the middle by Behemoth Tom Ata-Tofa.
Duncan used his blistering pace to nail the first four pointer in the corner for the Broncos which was unsuccessfully converted by lock Fred Tuua.
It appeared that Pine Rivers were constantly on the back foot all game, as the merciless Broncos wreaked havoc against the understrength Bears which resulted in another try in the 10th minute.
A superb run from by fullback Jack White had the Bears grasping at thin air as he beautifully chimed into the backline to score a dynamite try off the scrumbase.
The warning signs were ominous early on for the Bears as the Broncos again made a mockery of the flimsy Bears defence to see standout five-eighth Tiuka Williams offload a magic ball to lock Tuua who raced in under the posts.
At 14-0 down, the Bears could only watch on as the Broncos were men on a mission.
Revelling in his role as play maker for the Broncos, Tuua set up the next try for Williams who stepped inside the Bears fullback to go in for back to back tries within one minute.
A clearly frustrated Pine Rivers Coach Darren Korn could only watch on as his side were being torn apart up the middle by a red hot Broncos side.
For the Bears Hayden Potter was simply brilliant. His enthusiasm and never say die attitude on the field is truly remarkable week in week out. Even down injured in this game, his willingness to soldier on for the Bears was nothing short of heroic and was without a doubt the Bears best player by a country mile.
But the simple things were just not clicking for the Bears and a penalty kick that did not find touch was taken on the full by halfback Nicolas Newman who somehow managed to beat four defenders and race 40m upfield to score a sensational solo try.
With the conversion beautifully landed by White, the Broncos had easily taken a stranglehold on the game at 26-0.
But in true Pine Rivers fashion, the Bears hung in there. Their first try was scored with 30 seconds left on the clock in the first half. A determined run by lock Luke Turner saw him bash and barge his way over to go in for what was a confidence booster for the Bears right on the bell.
Unfortunately just as the first half started nicely for the Broncos, it had reared its ugly head for the Bears again as the home side went into score within two minutes of play. Tuua was again the orchestrator in this run of play as he chipped and chased over the Bears fullback to regather and offload to White in support who in turn found centre Kurt Rangi in arguably the try of the game.
The home side were clearly winning the physical battle with some tireless workers in Tuua, Tofa and Va-agfa, but the Bears were potent in patches if not unfashionable. Luke Turner, Kye Dinte and Timatanga Katipa were all sound in defence for the visitors, however the Broncos were near unstoppable.
Bears coach Darren Korn could only describe the game as disappointing.
“We were beaten by the better team on the day. With injuries and what not, we simply had no answers to a decent footy side in the Broncos who turned up to play, but we will be back.” he said.
Korn is a good coach. His technical approach to the game is second to none and he does have a credible career that can see the Bears get back in the winner’s circle.
But hold onto your hats folks, the Broncos can also tackle. An absolute crunching hit by prop Justin Williams saw opposing prop Matt Goldstiver battered in what was the tackle of the game.
Goldstiver lost control of the ball in the aftermath and was quickly scooped up by fullback White who ran 70 m to score an electrifying try under the posts.
With the conversion successful by Tuua, the Bowen River Broncos can safely say that this was an all-round stellar performance for a side that is on the way up.