Broncos hang on to win but lose in-form centre Roberts to injury

James Roberts

Getting the win and thus the two points will be a welcome relief for Brisbane Broncos coach Wayne Bennett but the win has come at a cost, with star, in-form centre James Roberts suffering a possible ankle injury.

Just five minutes before the end of the game, Roberts was carried off by the trainers in some discomfort as his club held on to win the game 32-18 over the Penrith Panthers at Suncorp Stadium.

The first half was handed to the Broncos on a silver platter as the Panthers made a litany of errors that led to tries and a 22-0 lead at the half-time break for Brisbane.

Things kick-started in just the 11th minute when Roberts made a break on the fringe to set up a try for Kodi Nikorima before he did it all again, this time going solo to score a try of his own.

The game could have taken a very different turn had it not been for a controversial decision made by the bunker in just the 6th minute.

James Tamou crossed the line and referee Gerard Sutton sent it up as try. After reviewing the footage, the decision from the bunker led to an overturn of that decision based on their findings that the ball had been knocked on by Wallace, despite the fact that it appeared to go backwards.

Already boasting the worst completion rate in the game, a total of nine errors continued to break Penrith hearts in the first-half.

The first-half tries continued as a seemingly innocuous bomb was caught by Jordan Kahu in the presence of at least two Penrith players who made no attempt at catching the ball.

This was soon followed by a great passage of play for another try off the kick-off, as an Anthony Milford offload found Alex Glenn before he and other players combined down the left that resulted in a try for Tautau Moga.

The Broncos then continued the rout in the second half after Korbin Sims powered his way over the line and although the Panthers would pull back three tries to Trent Merrin, Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Matt Moylan, it was ultimately too little, too late.

Penrith’s mini-comeback in the last 15 minutes might give their fans a slither of hope but Broncos coach Wayne Bennett dismissed that very notion post-game.

“That’s a bit of a fallacy, to be honest with you,” Bennett said.

“You don’t want to be 28-0 down and fighting back. It’s like starting to fight at the end of the game when you should have started at the beginning of the game.

“It’s about how you start and how you play the game.

“You’re not going to get a whole deal of confidence out of your last 15 minutes when the game was lost.”

Instead of being overly negative, Panthers coach Anthony Griffin believes that there were some positive signs by his side, even if they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly.

“It was just one of those weird games where every time we made a mistake we got scored on,” Griffin said.

“I thought that our general defence was really solid but when you get an intercept and don’t compete on a last play all of a sudden you’re down by 10 or 16 points.

“That’s just the way we’re going at the moment. We’re killing ourselves.”

Player of the Game:

3. James Roberts

2. Anthony Milford

  1. Kodi Nikorima

Brisbane Broncos 32 (Kodi Nikorima, James Roberts, Jordan Kahu, Tautau Moga, Korbin Sims, Matt Gillett tries; Jordan Kahu 4 goals) def. Penrith Panthers 18 (Trent Merrin, Matt Moylan, Reagan Campbell-Gillard tries; Nathan Cleary 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 21,464. Half-time: Broncos 22-0. Holden Cup: Panthers 44-12.

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