They say defence wins games and that was no truer than the Brisbane Broncos v Melbourne Storm clash at AAMI Park this afternoon. The Broncos put on a show of defensive prowess as somehow, they held off attack after attack by the Storm.
The most crucial moment of all with the Broncos defence came very late on, though, when Felise Kaufusi had a chance to score, only to be tackled and held up by a remarkable effort from interchange hooker Matt Parcell.
It summed up the Broncos evening in a game where points were somewhat hard to come by given the 14-12 scoreline but it was a great boost for the Broncos, as they snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Storm.
It was the Storm’s suspect left edge that saw the Broncos score all three tries down that side, despite having just 42% of the possession throughout the game.
With both sides missing some State of Origin stars, the game was as entertaining as they come, with both sides giving it their all.
With key half Cooper Cronk still out due to injury, Blake Green did his best to help the Storm win and scored both of his side’s tries, one of which was a great solo effort out of dummy half.
The game was filled with quality moments, as both teams played end-to-end footy, with the game closely contested throughout.
The talking point was the defensive juggernaut, though, and rightfully so. A game that the Broncos fans and the NRL fans will remember for a while to come.
Even coach Wayne Bennett, who has seen many tremendous defensive performances in his lengthy career as as NRL coach, could not believe just how well his side were in defence.
“I’ve seen a lot of great defence in my time, how do you categorise it?” Bennett said after the match.
“If you want to put it in the grand final of something it definitely is.
“Nothing amazes me about them. I’ve got my expectations of them and I know what they are capable of.”
With the Broncos working hard on all aspects of their game, stand-in skipper Sam Thaiday said the club was pleased to see the hard work paying off.
“It was very tough but you work so hard week in week out to trust and know that your defence is going to hold out,” he said.
“They did a fantastic job to get repeat sets against us but we just held strong and kept showing up for one another and that is a great sign to see where our team is at.”
Player of the Game:
3. Blake Green
2. Jack Reed
1. Matt Gillett
Brisbane Broncos 14 (Lachlan Maranta, Jack Reed, Corey Oates tries; Jordan Kahu goal) defeated Melbourne Storm 12 (Blake Green 2 tries; Cameron Smith 2 goals) at AAMI Park. Crowd: 14, 278.