Brisbane Broncos win NRL pre-season challenge

Delouise Hoeter shone for Brisbane as it won the NRL pre-season challenge.

Delouise Hoeter shone for Brisbane as it won the NRL pre-season challenge. Photo: Getty

Brisbane has won the NRL pre-season challenge and given coach Kevin Walters a window into the promising depth at the club in 2024.

The Broncos won 46-20 against North Queensland with a full-strength side in the first week of trials, before a second-tier outfit beat Manly 40-14 on Saturday, while the top squad was in camp in Los Angeles before the round one NRL match with Sydney Roosters in Las Vegas.

The Broncos finished the pre-season tournament on 28 points, equal with Sydney Roosters, but won the $100,000 first prize due to a better for-and-against record.

Brisbane centre Delouise Hoeter, who co-captained the side on Saturday, said to start the season so well was “a good feeling”.

“We wanted to build on last week and I feel like we did that with a less-experienced side,” Hoeter said.

“We still have a long way to go from our best, but everyone that played should be proud of their achievement.

“It shows great depth from our young players all the way through to players who are just on the fringe.

“Paixy (Cory Paix) and I loved leading the team on Saturday and for a team that was pulled together in a week, they were great.”

Giant 205cm prop Ben Te Kura, 19, had a strong game against Manly, running for 104m.

Brisbane great Corey Parker said Te Kura would only get better.

“I am not one to put extra pressure on the kid but he is in a great system and hanging around some great players like Pat Haas and Pat Carrigan,” Parker told AAP.

“He obviously has a big future. Te Kura will be a first grader at some point but how regular that is will be up to him and Kevin Walters.”

Highly rated hooker Blake Mozer also had an impressive match against a Manly side that also fielded a fringe roster, since its top side is also in Las Vegas.

“Full credit to the Broncos. They were able to get away with the $100,000 and it is good experience for those kids to be able to play on TV,” Parker said.

“The signs we have seen in their first two games were positive. It shows great depth.”

Parker said there were other positive signs in the opening pre-season win against the Cowboys, in which second-rower Brendan Piakura scored two tries and showed he would be an accomplished replacement for veteran Kurt Capewell, who joined the Warriors in the off-season.

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