Reece Walsh engineered a 28-16 win over North Queensland in his club debut for Brisbane at full-back on a night that saw Broncos winger Corey Oates fracture his jaw.
Walsh, 20, showed why manager Kevin Walters was so keen to bring him back to the club by scoring three tries within 10 minutes on either side of half-time. He sealed the deal for the home side with a 76th-minute try to cap a magical Friday night.
His scintillating speed combined with electric No. 6 Ezra Mam was too much for the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium in front of 43,162 fans.
North Queensland will nervously await the results of the Match Review Committee, with center Peta Hiku reported for a dangerous tackle on Walsh and full-back Scott Drinkwater for a high shot against Oates when he was denied a try just after half-time.
Oates left the field with his jaw clenched, Drinkwater was sin-stricken and Walsh broke a 10-all deadlock with an instinctive left foot kick for Kotoni Staggs in the 44th minute.
Walsh blitzed the Cowboys again five minutes later, Mam finished it for his second try and the hosts never looked back.
Brisbane were gallant defensively, with Walsh and Mam both impressing on that front. Her attack was next level. Walsh terrorized the North Queensland right edge, and Mam, who scored a double, took a mile when she was given an inch.
The Cowboys put on an exciting finish when second rower Jeremiah Nanai chased a kick from Chad Townsend, but Walsh had the last word.
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/walsh-stars-oates-breaks-jaw-in-broncos-win-over-cowboys-20230310-p5cr8j.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Walsh stars, Oates breaks his jaw when the Broncos defeat the Cowboys