Organisers determined months in the past what the primary recreation of Magic Spherical could be.In some methods it is a prime slot — kicking off probably the most anticipated spherical because the opener — however it’s additionally a graveyard slot — off free-to-air telly and beginning as folks get dwelling from work or prepare dinner dinner.It was additionally solely ever going to be a curtain-raiser to the principle occasion, Brisbane vs Manly.With Newcastle dropping slightly below Canterbury to sixteenth on the ladder final week, it ensured the graveyard slot could be occupied by two groups successfully lifeless on arrival.The NRL received fortunate.The individuals who turned up at 6pm on a Friday, much less so.Whereas the Bulldogs appear spurred on by years of futile toil on the backside of the ladder, energised by new faces and excited by the very prospect of constructing in direction of one thing, Newcastle seem shellshocked to search out themselves the place they’re.Their assault lacks spark, even with Kalyn Ponga on the again, though he seems extra static than electrical proper now.They managed to journey over the end line first — 16-6 — however even Knights coach Adam O’Brien could not watch at one level, storming out of the field when Leo Thompson dropped the ball from right here. The Bulldogs could not punish Newcastle for this error. And so it went all night time.(Provided: Kayo)Mercifully for Thompson and fittingly for the match, the Bulldogs went up the opposite finish and Chris Patolo additionally dropped the ball chilly.Each mentors might have been forgiven for feigning well being and security protocols to get out of dodge, as a result of there have been any variety of related passages of play the place the groups seemed rudderless.On the finish of an brisk, if flawed, opening stanza, on the final play of the primary half, Edrick Lee moved nearly 20 metres in-field to slip out large on a left-side shift. He received a large ball from Kalyn Ponga and was met, by not simply reverse quantity Jayden Okunbor, however Brent Naden. Then Kyle Flanagan. Then Tevita Pangai Jr.The Bulldogs’ sliding defence matched the lateral assault so simply that it should have shocked the Bulldogs that the Knights have been making it that straightforward. The Knights received, however would not have been proud of their efficiency.(Getty: Bradley Kanaris)The set earlier than that, the ball went to floor between Lee and Bradman Greatest on a equally ineffective slide. The play after that, Tex Hoy kicked lifeless on the total and crocked his shoulder.Beginning from 20 metres out with seven tackles beneath their belt, the Bulldogs replied by failing to run on the one-armed man defending at a slender proper centre, then knocked it on earlier than reaching the third sort out.Within the second half, Newcastle strung collectively sufficient competent seconds for Ponga to place Bradman Greatest previous some peculiar Bulldogs defence.However, true to type, the Knights knocked on off the following set. Persevering with the theme, the Bulldogs didn’t pack the scrum in time however have been nonetheless allowed to play on, solely to observe fullback Matt Dufty drop the ball on the scrumbase play.It was a miracle Peter V’landys did not get on the blower earlier than full-time and alter the principles to make this win solely value one level, however by the point it was over and the Lang Park mild present began, it was clear that wasn’t Magic Spherical’s opening act; simply the assist act.Broncos trying like an NRL workforce once more, and a fairly good one at that Corey Oates (second from proper) scored a late double because the rain arrived.(Getty Pictures: Bradley Kanaris)Earlier than the 16-team, eight-game competition of footy was official, Manly had a behavior of taking the occasional dwelling recreation as much as Brisbane.That was evident within the assist they received from the Lang Park crowd on Friday night time, paired with a couple of refrains of Eagle Rock and matched with some Brookvale-level booing of Adam Reynolds each time he lined up a shot at aim.The unhealthy information for these booing was that Reynolds was lining them up rather a lot. Seven occasions to be actual. And all of them went via — the one blemish being a wayward field-goal try late within the first half.For the second week in a row, Reynolds performed conductor, with Selwyn Cobbo and Corey Oates first and second chair violins, and Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan setting the tempo within the percussion part because the Broncos trampled their opponents.Final week it was reigning grand finalists South Sydney, this week it was a Manly aspect with famous person Tom Trbojevic that includes in his second recreation again from damage.However the gun fullback featured within the opening blunder of the sport, permitting the kick-off to bounce between himself and Kieran Foran, rolling lifeless and handing possession again to the Broncos.Reynolds and Cobbo mixed for the primary time, quickly after, and Brisbane — 14th final 12 months and stone-dead final in 2020 — have been off and operating. Regardless of what you see right here, it was a reliable, skilled and spectacular show from Brisbane.(Getty: Bradley Kanaris)Freak begins like which have occurred to Brisbane over the previous two years, however they’ve nearly at all times allow them to slip with foolish errors, lazy defence and unhealthy execution.This time they by no means seemed like slowing down.Trbojevic was clearly labouring on the again and could not influence the sport, however you bought the sense even on the peak of his powers, the tip consequence would have been the identical (although possibly not as emphatic because the 38-0 scoreline that eventuated).The aforementioned stars have been after all glorious, as have been Kurt Capewell, Kotoni Staggs and Herbie Farnworth.Crucially, Billy Walters is hitting his stride, on this case that means passes from dummy half are lastly hitting Reynolds in stride, beginning Brisbane’s assault off on the appropriate observe as a rule.Even the rain that has battered Brisbane for 2 weeks straight held off for a lot of the night time, solely actually returning for the ultimate 25 minutes to make sure Oates might have a enjoyable slip and slide as he dove in for his double.On an evening when 4 NRL groups took to the park, the Broncos seemed by far probably the most competent, full and copacetic of the lot.After watching them the previous two years, if that is not sufficient to make you imagine in magic, what’s?