Broncos bounce back to win 24-16

Justin HodgesTonights favourites the Brisbane Broncos survived a torrid opening battle in their NRL final against the Roosters, getting behind early and looking all but gone before a Wayne Bennett half time chat turned everything around, the 5th ranked team coming out pumped and eventually getting home 24-16.

The Broncos overcame a strong and physical Roosters side early and ran down an initial 8-point halftime deficit with superb tries to outside back Denan Kemp and strong running David Stagg and Tonie Carroll getting bash and bargers of their own.

The victory ensured a home final for the Broncos, most likely next week, though they could earn a week off if there are two upsets in the weekend’s remaining three qualifying finals.

It will be the final send-off for Bennett, who will join St George Illawarra next season after 21 years at the helm of the Broncos.

The Roosters, whose season will remain alive providing two of Canberra, the Dragons and the Warriors don’t win, were left to rue not only the loss but a season-ending broken arm to hooker Riley Brown.

Trailing 16-8 at halftime the Broncos started the second half in spectacular fashion with a contender for team try of the year just two minutes after the break.

They travelled almost 50m in one play and their determination to keep the ball alive saw them string together 12 passes before Kemp pierced the line and crossed out wide.

Hooker Michael Ennis then booted a fine 40-20 kick to put them back on the attack and they took the lead for the first time in the 49th minute when halfback Peter Wallace sent Stagg crashing over the line.

The Broncos extended their lead in the 60th minute when Darren Lockyer put fellow veteran Carroll over out wide and they managed to repel several late Roosters surges.

The first half was among the most brutal seen this season, with big hits and injuries aplenty.

Brisbane prop Joel Clinton was forced from the field and did not return after a bone-rattling hit from Mark O’Meley in the second minute while Ennis, Wallace, Karmichael Hunt and Corey Parker were also on the end of big shots.

Both sides traded penalties before Sia Soliola scored the first try in the 13th minute when he swooped to intercept a Lockyer pass.

Ten minutes later, they stretched their lead even further when Anthony Tupou scored and Craig Fitzgibbon converted to put the Roosters up by 12.

Wallace got the Broncos back in the match when he cleverly stepped his way over the line nine minutes before the break and Fitzgibbon slotted another penalty to give the tricolours their eight-point halftime lead.

BRISBANE 24 (T Carroll D Kemp D Stagg P Wallace tries M Ennis 2 C Parker 2 goals) bt SYDNEY ROOSTERS 16 (I Soliola A Tupou tries C Fitzgibbon 4 goals) at Sydney Football Stadium. Referee: T Archer.

3 thoughts on “Broncos bounce back to win 24-16”

  1. Hi there, I’m Jeremy from PNG and I just want to comment on the referees and the players attitudes during last week. I think that the modern NRL players are fast becoming like the soccer players of FIFA. Whenever, there is a soft touch from an opposing player above the neckline the player goes down and stays down hoping to get a penalty even though the shot was not that serious. The referees on the other hand, do they really need to get advice from the man upstairs on whether it was serious or not serious? This slows the game down and I as a fan of rugby hate it when this things happen. Come on guys get up, play the ball let ref handle it and lets get on with the finals. GO THE BRONCOS!!

  2. I am writing in regard to two very unsavoury incidents which occured on Friday evening at the Sydney Football Stadium. The game began with Justin Hodges coming toward the section of the crowd allocated for “The Chook Pen” & spitting at the crowd. A disgusting habit at the best of times, but a very poor gesture as there were a great number of children. Not a good look for Rugby League!!!!!! The game concluded with The Broncos players Walking over to the adjoining bay & thanking their supporters for their Attendance. Hodges was at the time being interviewed by the media, but came over separately to the chook pen instead to gesture a hard raised arm and finger in a “stick that up you” reaction. I was disgusted, considering the support some of us gave to him when he was a troubled young man at the Roosters. This is not the first time he has reacted to the crowd in this manner & wont be the last if he is allowed to continue with this behaviour. Surely this is bringing the game into disrepute! A talented footballer who needs discipline & addressing if he is to succeed. Once more I am very disappointed & hope he is held accountable,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Sandra Ashley ( A long standing Supporter of the roosters & Rugby League )

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