The Forward Pass: Brisbane’s Busy Bye

The fake news that’s actually fake.

While seven NRL clubs enjoyed their bye weekend, Brisbane were busy preparing for the rest of the season.

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The Broncos hosted the South Queensland Crushers in a practice game at Suncorp Stadium last Friday night (June 1).

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The Crushers team featured Trevor Gillmeister, Mario Fenech, Mark Hohn, Travis Norton, Craig Teevan, Dale Shearer, Steele Retchless, Clinton Schifcofske, Mark Tookey, Anthony Bella, Scott Sattler, Chris McKenna, Tony Hearn, Clinton O’Brien, Danny Nutley, St. John Ellis and Danny Peacock, with Paul Vautin as special guest coach.

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“We’re on the verge of the eight, so playing a bunch of old men is the perfect preparation for a seventh premiership,” said Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.

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Despite missing their Origin stars, Brisbane won 60-6 infront of 40,000 fans. Kick off was delayed when all the dust from the old cotton Crushers jerseys brought out of mothballs formed a momentary fog. Telecast on Channel Nine Brisbane (instead of the Souths v Cronulla NRL game), Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer commentated, with local newsreader Andrew Lofthouse on the sideline.

Gerard Sutton – the only referee – was busy, with Brisbane winning the penalty count 30-0.

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“Benny said if I wanted to keep officiating Broncos’ games, I had to ‘do the right thing’,” Sutton said. “The Crushers’ old farts were struggling to keep the 10, so I was pretty ruthless.”

While Schifcofske scored all the Crushers’ points, the biggest cheer came when Mario Fenech re-enacted his famous Falcon early in the second half. Corey Oates scored five tries for the Broncos while Jamayne Isaako kicked 10 goals from 10 attempts.

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Bennett is keen to make the Broncos v Crushers game an annual bye fixture. “The players enjoy it, Sutton enjoys it, Nine Brisbane gets huge ratings and the fans adore the nostalgia. The Crushers showed more spirit than all the Sydney NRL teams put together. Same time next year.”

The Forward Pass is a fictional and deliberately ridiculous look at the NRL. References to real people is for satirical purposes only. Check it out on Twitter @thefwdpass

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