THE Brisbane Broncos underlined their NRL top-eight position in fine style last night when they downed the Newcastle Knights 32-6 at Hunter Stadium.
Securing their second win from their past five encounters, the Broncos had the upper hand 16-6 at half-time and continued to frustrate the Knights on the resumption.
With fullback Ben Barba producing his best effort in Brisbane colours, the home side was consigned to another instalment on its emotional 2014 roller-coaster ride.
Barba skipped through for a fine try in the opening term after providing the spadework for Matt Gillett's 22nd minute four-pointer.
Rugged Brisbane defence and the return to form of Barba had Broncos coach Anthony Griffin in good spirits as the dust settled.
Also last night, an unrelenting Manly Sea Eagles added to a frustrating start to 2014 for the North Queensland Cowboys with a fairytale 26-21 win in Gosford.
The Sea Eagles trailed 21-20 with three minutes left on the clock, but Jamie Buhrer motored over to cement his side's top-four ranking for another week.
Brisbane 32 (A Glenn, M Gillett, B Barba, D Copley, B Hannt, J Hoffman tries; C Parker 4 goals) def Newcastle 6 (K Sims try; T Roberts goal).
Manly 26 (J Taufua 2, S Matai, K Foran, J Buhrer tries; J Lyon 3 goals) def North Queensland 21 (B Tate 2, K Feldt, Curtis Rona tries; Johnathan Thurston 2 goals; field goal).
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