Brisbane beats Gold Coast 44-28 in 1st round of NRL playoffs

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Jarryd Hayne

Jarryd Hayne (Photo: Scott Powick Daily News)

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — The Brisbane Broncos advanced to the second round of the National Rugby League playoffs on Friday, eliminating the Gold Coast Titans and their star recent recruit Jarryd Hayne 44-28.

Hayne quit the San Francisco 49ers after his first year in the NFL in an ill-fated attempt to play rugby sevens for Fiji at the Rio Olympics, then returned to the NRL with the Titans six weeks ago.

On Saturday, Cronulla plays Canberra, and defending champion North Queensland takes on Melbourne in qualifying finals involving the top four teams.

The winning sides advance direct to the semifinals, while the losing teams play elimination finals winners next week — against Brisbane or the winner of the Canterbury-Penrith match to be played on Sunday.

The grand final in Sydney is scheduled for Oct. 2.

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