Veterans shine in first Broncos trial
Andrew McCullough impressed Broncos coach Anthony Seibold and Jack Bird emerged unscathed in Brisbane's 36-18 trial win in Rockhampton.
A star-studded Broncos team was too strong for the Intrust Super Cup's Central Queensland Capras to kickstart their pre-season trial campaign.
While the Broncos flopped at the NRL Nines in Perth, Seibold ran his eye over a host of big name players in what was a crucial match for some of Brisbane's biggest stars.
Hooker McCullough is fighting to save his NRL career following the rise of Jake Turpin, but the 258-game veteran proved he may not yet be a spent force.
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Starting in his beloved No.9 jersey, McCullough played 40 minutes and was a cut above his opposition as Brisbane bounced out to an 18-6 halftime lead.
Playing his first game in 281 days, Bird started at fullback in his return from a knee reconstruction and punched out an encouraging 30 minutes.
Former captain Darius Boyd was solid at left centre, playing the opening 40 minutes in his first match in his new position.
"I was really happy with Macca - he should take a lot of confidence away from that," Seibold said.
"He was really sharp out of dummy-half and looked really good. I was really happy with how he played.
"I was really happy for (Bird) to get through 30 minutes. It will do his confidence a world of good. He was rapt to be playing again.
"We took off all our NRL guys at halftime. I was really happy with those NRL boys.
"We had a bit of a motley crew apart from that but it was really good for them to play with some of those older boys."
Seibold was also able to get some solid game time into forwards Tevita Pangai Jr, Joe Ofahengaue, Pat Carrigan and Rhys Kennedy while the Broncos did not sustain any serious injuries.
The Broncos got on the board early through winger Jon Reuben before Pangai Jr extended Brisbane's lead to 12-6.
A try to winger Richie Kennar on the stroke of halftime gave Brisbane an 18-6 lead after halfback Tyson Gamble converted the Broncos' three first half tries.
Back-up playmaker Kobe Hetherington, son of Queensland Origin legend Jason Hetherington, extended Brisbane's lead before Gamble scored himself to make it 30-6.
Youngster Josh James scored a late try for the Broncos before the Capras hit back to make it 36-18 at full-time.
The Broncos will head to Cairns on Saturday to face the Cowboys in a trial before rounding out their pre-season campaign against the Titans at Redcliffe on February 29.