BRISBANE kept its season alive with a fighting 26-24 win against the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium yesterday, but the victory came at a cost.

Representative centre Justin Hodges snapped his left Achilles tendon in the first half and is expected to be sidelined until midway through next season, if indeed he keeps playing.

Despite losing Hodges, the home side took an early lead after U20s winger Jordan Drew celebrated his NRL debut with a try.

St George Illawarra replied thanks to Adam Quinlan, but the Broncos took an 8-6 lead into the break after Dragons hooker Nathan Fien hassled Corey Parker in the play the ball, sparking a melee before Scott Prince potted the resulting penalty.

Origin utility Matt Gillett put the Broncos up 14-6 just three minutes after the re-start, but the home fans were concerned after a second try to Quinlan, and another to centre Daniel Vidot saw the visitors shoot to an 18-14 lead in the 50th minute.

Desperately needing some inspiration, Brisbane skipper Sam Thaiday was the man for the occasion.

Struggling to recover from a 58th minute tackle by Trent Merrin, Thaiday somehow dusted himself off and barged over moments later to put the hosts back in front.

The win left the Broncos three points behind the eighth-placed Raiders with matches to come against Parramatta (H), Penrith (A), Newcastle (H) and the Bulldogs (H).

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