Being belted 59-0 was humiliating enough for Brisbane.
But adding salt to the wound was the outstanding performance on Thursday night of Sydney Roosters prop Lindsay Collins – the Bronco that got away.
In a powerhouse display off the bench, the 24-year-old amassed a remarkable 240m and 22 tackles while also helping break Brisbane’s spirit with a 58th minute try.
Collins, the grandson of former Test flyer Lionel Williamson, was always tipped for big things in the NRL – for the Broncos.
A standout in Brisbane’s under 20s, Collins was hampered with a foot injury and never made the next step up for the glamour club before being lured away by Roosters coach Trent Robinson in 2017.
His former Broncos junior teammates Pat Carrigan and Jamayne Isaako no doubt would have been wondering what might have been as they watched the 194cm prop monster the hosts’ pack at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.
Collins ensured the Roosters kept their foot on Brisbane’s throats, picking up where starting front rowers Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Siosiua Taukeiaho left off, allowing a Luke Keary-led backline to run amok.
Collins won’t be leaving the two-time defending premiers any time soon after backing up his head turning display last round against South Sydney with a performance Robinson described as “exceptional”.
“He’s evolved. I think everyone can see the under 20s kid who was here, he has similar traits now but it’s his consistency (that sets him apart),” Robinson said.
“He’s really strong and powerful and he’s got a big motor – people like to watch him play.”
Perhaps rubbing it into Brisbane’s noses even further, Robinson said one of Collins’ biggest assets was being a Queenslander.
“He’s a Queenslander, which has its own type as we know,” he said.
“For the Roosters, Queenslanders and Kiwis have been a real cornerstone of our sides over the years.”
Collins has been unlucky to miss out on the Roosters’ grand final teams of the past two years but Robinson hinted his fortunes may change if his stunning 2020 rise continued.
“He has had some real tough moments at the back end of the last couple of years, missing out on some big games,” he said.
“But he’s often got us into big games.
“He has a bright future. I am happy for him.”