In one of the games of the season, a last-gasp, extra-time try to Brisbane Broncos halfback Ben Hunt, has given the Broncos a 22-18 win over the Sydney Roosters last night.
With both sides trading field goal attempts when the score was locked up at 18-all, it was a simple try in the end by Hunt as he raced past the Roosters defenders and ran 30m to score.
The win was the fifth straight for the Broncos and means that for now, they are on top of the NRL ladder.
Both teams gave it their all in an ironman-like match, a contest that lived up to the billing and hype that surrounded it leading into the match.
Broncos coach Wayne Bennett praised Hunt for his last-gasp winner and he praised his side for staying in the contest.
“[Ben] didnâ€™t lose confidence, thank god. When he kicked the ball out on the full that was pretty vital but he kept at it and obviously he ran the ball which is what he does best,” Bennett said.
“We got under some pressure here tonight and we didnâ€™t lose our composure. We stayed in the contest and in the arm wrestle.
“We stayed at it and didnâ€™t let them get 12 or 18 points in front of us and the best they got was the six [points in front] and we kept ourselves in the game.”
The match meandered back and forth as both clubs had chances that they could not capitalise on, resulting in the extra-time result.
Both sides went toe-to-toe with each other, resulting in several biffs and tussles, pushing and shoving and all-in melees.
Ultimately, all of it led to Sam Moa being put on report for a high tackle and Jarrod Wallace being put on report for a chicken wing tackle.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson appreciated the game and said it was well and truly a spectacle, even though his side lost. He praised his side despite the disappointing loss.
“It was a hell of a game. The effort was there from both teams, it was a fair battle in the forwards and the outside backs played some good footy from both teams,” said Robinson.
“It was a fair fight tonight from both teams, that’s a positive. We played some really good footy tonight but very disappointing obviously to miss the field goal pre the 80 minutes and then had a couple of chances in decent range and we just didn’t ice it.”
The belief that the Broncos side have at the moment has club stalwart Corey Parker confident that they can match it with the competition heavyweights.
“The build-up all week, those guys coming off the back of a loss, we knew they were going to come up here and really stick it to us,” said Parker.
“We were prepared for a game like that and that was probably one of the toughest physical, 80-minute games we’ve played this year.
“We’ve got a group of men there at the moment that are prepared to pay the price for one another. Tonight was a great example of hanging tough.”
Changing tact, despite the announcement that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was headed to the Warriors from 2016, his performance last night drew immense praise from his coach.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt what Roger’s going to put in and play for. I don’t think anybody doubted that. He’s a fighter and he proved that tonight. He’ll be doing that all year,” Robinson said.
“I know that it did affect him, the week, as far as telling the guys that he wasn’t going to be there. That’s an emotional hit but Roger is pretty special in putting things in some right places and how to focus on what he needs to do and that proved that tonight.
Over the last couple of weeks, going through the decision that he’s had to go through and negotiations and playing like he did last weekend and this weekend, it’s a credit to him. He’s a fighter and we’ll need him for the rest of the year that’s for sure.”
Player of the Game:
3. Ben Hunt
2. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
1. Alex Glenn
Brisbane Broncos 22 (Ben Hunt 2, Alex Glenn tries; Corey Parker 5 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 18 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Boyd Cordner, James Maloney tries; James Maloney 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Roosters 12-10. Crowd: 35,630. On Report: Sam Moa (Roosters), Jarrod Wallace (Broncos).