Broncos keep finals hopes alive after demolition of the Knights

Justin Hodges

Every game is now a must win game for the Brisbane Broncos and the side responded, recording a commanding, easy win over the Newcastle Knights.

With solid wins needed to keep their finals hopes alive, the Broncos were led by some key players in Matt Gillett and Ben Barba, as they cruised to victory at Suncorp Stadium.

With the final score reading 46-6, it was not a good day for the Knights, who simply had no answer to the Broncos fluidity in attack and commitment to their play.

Having lost Jarrod Mullen pre-game and forward duo Jeremy Smith and Kade Snowden unable to play due to their involvement with the ASADA case, the Knights task was a tall order even before the game started.

In wet conditions in Brisbane, the Knights could not hold onto the ball and thus failed to produce any quality attack as a result.

Their cause was not helped with the clinical play of the Broncos, though, especially that of Justin Hodges, who moved to fullback and excelled as an additional play-maker for the Broncos.

For Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, although the first half was a bit poor in his eyes, he knows that they made up for it in the end.

“I thought the first half we were a bit scratchy when we needed to be a bit better,” said Griffin.

“At the back end of the game, the weight of possession told on them and we were a bit better with the ball.”

With games often uneven and predictable at times, Griffin knows that the bounce of the ball favoured his side tonight.

“The game went our way tonight,” said Griffin.

“Not withstanding that, he [Hodges] was good there tonight at the back.”

The loss came down to something simple for Knights coach Wayne Bennett. A lack of ball control and the inability to hold the ball.

“It was simply an inability to hold the ball and even when we had 5 to 6 good sets, we just couldn’t capitalise,” said Bennett.

“Our kicking game was poor and you just can’t afford to do that in the NRL.”

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