Throwback Thursday – Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

Throwback Thursday - Round Ones

If rugby league history is a reliable benchmark, the Broncos will win tonight’s NRL Season Opener against the Parramatta Eels in Sydney.

In the 28 previous first-up Round One matches by the club, the Broncos have saluted the judge 18 times – a 64 percent winning record.

And while that may not be a ringing endorsement for their season-opening form, the statistic is certainly in the ‘impressive’ category.

But that number does not mean the Broncos have a 36 percent losing record. While they may not have won 10 of those first-round clashes, they lost only six.

Of the others, three were draws – coincidentally one of them against tonight’s opponents the Eels – while the fourth non-win result was a forfeited match at the start of the 1996 season, as a consequence of the Super League fiasco.

At the time, the future of the Super League competition was before the courts and seven of the eight clubs which had signed to play in the rebel competition declined to contest first-round matches in the then Optus Cup until a legal decision was reached.

The only Super League-aligned club willing to play were the then Auckland Warriors, who were prepared to field a team comprising players from their domestic competition.

The Kiwi team was drawn to play against the Broncos, so while the other Super League clubs were debited with a loss, the Warriors scored a win without actually playing a game.

The Season 2008 win over the Penrith Panthers – a 48-12 victory at Suncorp Stadium – stands as the biggest first-round win in the club’s history, but Round One of 1988 remains the most memorable season opener for long-term Broncos members and fans.

All rugby league eyes were focused on this clash between the high-profile newcomers and the reigning premiers, the Manly Sea Eagles.

After 80 years of being NSW-centric, the competition had been expanded to include three new clubs – Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Newcastle.

But boasting players of the ilk of Wally Lewis, Gene Miles, Allan Langer, Greg Dowling, Bryan Niebling, Greg Conescu and Michael Hancock in their debut line-up, the performance of the Broncos was to become the barometer for the success of expansion.

And they did not disappoint, with Kangaroos captain ‘The King’ Lewis absolutely sensational in the emphatic 44-10 win.

Ironically, it was another Kangaroos captain who was the central figure in the club’s biggest-ever first-round win some 20 years later.

Returning from a knee reconstruction, Darren Lockyer came off the bench after 20 minutes to create two tries and score one in the 48-12 victory over the Panthers.

And Corey Parker, who will skipper the club onto Parramatta’s Pirtek Stadium in Western Sydney tonight, also contributed 24 points with a try and 10 goals.

His 10 goals still stand as a club record today, while his 24 points in the match is the second best individual contribution by a Broncos player.

Although they did not join the NRL competition until 1995, the North Queensland Cowboys have been the Broncos’ most prevalent first-round opponents.

The two Queensland-based clubs have met in season openers eight times, with the Broncos winning five.

NB: This year’s Broncos – Cowboys clash will actually be an epic Round 4 Easter Good Friday Night Grand Final Rematch at Suncorp Stadium. Regular match tickets here.

Special quality seats not available to the general public available here with our Derby Deal Membership Package.

First-up matches against the Eels however, have been a rarity, with just two clashes in 28 seasons.

The first was a 12-all draw in 1994 and the second was an 18-16 Broncos victory just four years ago.

But while most of the above data seemingly stands the Broncos in good stead for tonight’s trip to Sydney, one unflattering statistic cannot be denied.

Last year’s 36-6 home defeat at the hands of the 2014 reigning premiers the Rabbitohs for Wayne Bennett’s first match back as the Broncos head coach and Corey Parker’s 300th NRL Game, stands as the club’s biggest first-round loss.

Broncos Round One results have been:

1988 – beat Sea Eagles 44-10
1989 – beat Panthers 26-8
1990 – drew with Wests Magpies 12-all
1991 – beat Sea Eagles 12-1
1992 – beat Sharks 30-12
1993 – beat Sharks 19-10
1994 – drew with Eels 16-all
1995 – beat Warriors 25-22
1996 – lost to Warriors on forfeit
1997 – beat Warriors 14-2
1998 – beat Sea Eagles 22-6
1999 – lost to Raiders 28-20
2000 – drew with Wests Tigers 24-all
2001 – beat Cowboys 18-17
2002 – beat Cowboys 42-6
2003 – beat Panthers 24-20
2004 – beat Warriors 28-20
2005 – beat Cowboys 29-16
2006 – lost to Cowboys 36-4
2007 – lost to Cowboys 23-16
2008 – beat Panthers 48-12
2009 – beat Cowboys 19-18
2010 – beat Cowboys 30-24
2011 – lost to Cowboys 16-14
2012 – beat Eels 18-16
2013 – lost to Sea Eagles 22-14
2014 – beat Bulldogs 18-12
2015 – lost to Rabbitohs 36-6.

Round One is here!

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v Warriors, Cowboys, Dragons, Knights, Rabbitohs, Tigers, Raiders, Storm, Panthers, Eels, Bulldogs and Roosters.

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