Loss of backrower only sour note to a big win by Broncos over Titans.
Brisbane forward David Stagg may have suffered a career-ending knee injury as the Broncos punished an ill-disciplined Gold Coast 32-6 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Stagg, playing his 98th game for the Broncos, suffered a suspected ruptured ACL 56 minutes into the match and looked distressed as he was helped from the field with Brisbane ahead 24-6.
Brisbane overcame the absence of representative stars Justin Hodges and Ben Hannant and five-eighth Scott Prince to win.
But the Titans only had themselves to blame, conceding 10 straight penalties at one stage in the first half before co-captain Greg Bird was sent to the sin bin in the 33rd minute.
Brisbane scored tries on the back of the first two penalties with winger Josh Hoffman grabbing his eighth for the season before skipper Thaiday broke his duck with a soft dummy half effort in the ninth minute.
Bird and Jamal Idris — who cleaned up Brisbane centre Jack Reed with a swinging arm that could yet come under scrutiny from the NRL’s match review committee on Monday — were repeat offenders.
The Titans seemed to lose the plot in the first half as the penalty count climbed towards double figures.
The Titans didn’t receive a penalty until the last 10 minutes.
Brisbane had the game in their keeping at halftime despite the Titans coming up with the try of the match to Titans winger David Mead which featured two brilliant offloads by Idris and halfback Albert Kelly.
Brisbane snuffed out any hope of a Titans’ Houdini act when debutant Jake Granville sped out of dummy half and grubber kicked for winger Lachlan Maranta to score from a favorable bounce.
Big Gold Coast back-rower Taylor, gave away back-to-back penalties, flattening Brisbane hooker Andrew McCullough a minute after being pinched for a foul on fullback Corey Norman.
He also copped a penalty for taking out Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace late.
Bird looked to be in a world of pain and clutching at his neck midway through the first half after his head crashed into teammate Ashley Harrison’s hip.