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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007, 22:31 GMT
Lockyer pleased with warm-up win
Darren Lockyer
Darren Lockyer was one of five try scorers for the Broncos
Brisbane Broncos warmed up for next week's World Club Challenge game against St Helens with a 32-6 win against Celtic Crusaders in Bridgend.

Steve Michaels (2), Brent Tate, Justin Hodges, Darren Lockyer and Karmichael Hunt all ran in tries.

The Crusaders points came from a Grant Epton try converted by Luke Young.

"The game served its purpose. We were a bit rough around the edges, but it was good we got it out of the way tonight," said Broncos captain Lockyer.

"They really stuck with us in the first half, and it was a case of us grinding things out a bit more in the second period.

"We only got off the plane on Wednesday, but this was a good experience, especially for our younger guys who would not have played in the conditions over here before.

"We are grateful the Crusaders gave us this game, and it was certainly played in a good spirit."

The NRL champions had nine Australia internationals in their side, but struggled to find their usual fluency early on just one day arriving from down under

It took 20 minutes for the Broncos to break the deadlock, with Lockyer running in under the posts after a Shane Perry break.

The Crusaders levelled on 31 minutes with Wales international Epton weaving his way through the Broncos defence to score.

It was the biggest night of Welsh rugby league since the days of Jonathan Davies

Crusaders operations manager Gerald McCarthy

Hodges intercepted to put the Broncos back in front before the break and a score two minutes into the second half effectively ended any hopes of a shock.

San Thaiday made ground before Michaels finished off a clever passing move in the corner and Hunt added another soon after.

The Crusaders continued to attack, but Michaels and Tate added further tries to add gloss to the scoreline for Brisbane.

Crusaders coach John Dixon paid tribute to his players after their courageous performance.

"It was a very commendable performance from the boys," said Dixon.

"There were some really positive signs from our team. I thought our forwards played really well against a set of backs that have some real size and power.

"We took some pride in defending our line - it was a very creditable performance from us."

And Crusaders operations manager Gerald McCarthy said the match was a major turning point for the National League two club.

"It was the biggest night of Welsh rugby league since the days of Jonathan Davies," he said. "It's been really hard work but it was well worth it - the visit of the Broncos has helped get the Crusaders on the map."

Former Wales rugby league stars David Watkins, Mike Nicholas, John Devereux and Allan Bateman were among a 2,000 crowd at the Brewery Field.


Celtic Crusaders: Tony Duggan, Grant Epton, Mark Dalle Cort, Anthony Blackwood, Craig Richards, Luke Young, Jace Van Dijk, Josh Cale, Neil Budworth, Gareth Dean, Neale Wyatt, Darren Mapp, Damien Quinn.
Replacements: Rob Toshack, Dean Fitzgerald, Jamie I'Anson, Hywel Davies, Phil Cushion, Paul Ballard, Geraint Davies, Richard Johnston, Lee Jones, Andy Boothroyd.

Brisbane Broncos: Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd, Brent Tate, Justin Hodges, Tame Tupou, Darren Lockyer, Shane Perry, Sam Thaiday, Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Corey Parker, Brad Thorn, Tonie Carroll.Replacements: Dane Carlaw, Greg Eastwood, Ben Hannant, Michael Ennis, Steve Michaels.

SEE ALSO
Lockyer tempted by Super League
15 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Lockyer fit for Saints Challenge
12 Feb 07 |  Rugby League
Crusaders 6-56 Widnes Vikings
09 Feb 07 |  National League
Crusaders recruit youthful trio
23 Jan 07 |  National League
Crusaders unveil 11 new signings
10 Jan 07 |  National League
Crusaders start season with bang
04 Dec 06 |  Rugby League


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