The Brisbane Broncos notched their first victory for 2021, and their first in the Kevin Walters era, in a 24-0 race against the Bulldogs.
What was shaping up in another fierce game at Suncorp Stadium after both teams went without a try midway through the second half was quickly reversed as the Broncos revolted in a final 20-minute spell.
Full-back Jamayne Isaako was the man to thank as he showcased a piece of individual brilliance to escape and allowed two Bulldogs defensemen to break up the game.
With the end of their woes in sight, the floodgates opened as Walters’ men piled on three more tries in the final quarter to break 259 days without a win.
Blooming winger Xavier Coates scored a late brace in what is emerging as a successful game of choice for Brisbane.
Young half-back Tom Dearden also found himself on the scoresheet, having come to the end of a smart kick from Herbie Farnworth.
It was a moment of undoubted pride for Walters as he enjoyed every minute of his first NRL victory, alongside his troops and fans at Suncorp.
“It’s honestly a great feeling to get the first win of the season,” Coates told Fox Sports full-time.
Isaako opens the game
“We obviously struggled a bit, I felt we were a bit behind in the first half. We chatted and came out in the second half, our attackers had a roll-on and we took advantage of that.
“It’s unreal to get the first win of the season. Kevie told us about staying in this showdown, things didn’t seem to be going our way.
“It’s a big weight on our shoulders, but we know we have a long way to go. Hopefully we can follow that winning streak and show it next week.”
It’s a crucial victory for the Broncos who will have their work cut out for them when they clash with reigning prime ministers, the Melbourne Storm next week.
Meanwhile, it quickly becomes a grim picture in Canterbury for coach Trent Barrett whose troops have failed to find the scoreboard in two weeks.
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