It was a night to forget for the Brisbane Broncos after they were blown off the park by a rampant Parramatta Eels, losing 53-6.
The Broncos loss was compounded by several HIA’s and Thomas Flegler sent to hospital for precautionary scans on his airways but the attack was loose and lacking direction.
In what was meant to be a milestone game for Adam Reynolds, his 250th; he instead spent most of it on the sidelines after suffering a concussion.
The Eels had the first try after ten minutes when Clint Gutherson’s flick out the back found Junior Paulo who basketballed it over to Maika Sivo, who cut inside to score.
Sivo would then turn provider as he made the break courtesy of Shaun Lane’s pass, kicking infield for Tom Opacic who was able to ground the ball despite attention from three Broncos defenders.
The Eels would head to the right this time as Papali’i stormed onto the ball, offloaded, and Gutherson miraculously held onto the ball behind his back to then go on and score.
The right side had a busy few minutes as a short side play saw Mitch Moses put Waqa Blake away down the sideline before he backed up on the inside to finish the play off.
Things were looking grim for the Broncos at 24-0 and they needed something and they found out when Brenko Lee scored out wide off a scrum play.
That was as good as it got, however, with all Broncos momentum killed when they conceded again just before the break.
Dylan Brown put Lane through a yawning gap and the big man got the legs pumping and found Gutherson on the inside for his second try.
The Eels would then march down the field once more with Moses kicking a cheeky field goal to put the Eels up by 25 points.
It took the Eels a while before they went on with the result courtesy of some stern Broncos defence but the tries eventually came.
Papali’i got another of his own as he burrowed over the Broncos defenders with brute strength close to the line.
Will Penisini was the next to score, the recipient of a pinpoint kick from Brown and a tap back from the Broncos.
Opacic would grab his second when he was the quickest to pounce on a grubber from Gutherson.
With the seconds dwindling down, Gutherson was again involved, this time on the right, throwing a cut-out pass to Blake who did the rest and went over to score.
Kevin Walters lambasted his Broncos side with the coach admitting that their performance was horrible.
“It was terrible. We didn’t start very well and finished poorly as well,” Walters said.
“It’s just disappointing for everyone. We need to fix our attitude more than anything else. I am not going to make any excuses, it just hasn’t been good enough.”
Eels coach Brad Arthur praised his side for their performance on the back of a short turnaround.
“Credit to the boys, on the back of a five day turn-around they started with great physicality and we were just hard to handle,” Arthur said.
“Our intensity in defence was excellent.”
NRL News Player of the Match
3. Shaun Lane (PAR)
2. Clint Gutherson (PAR)
1. Mitch Moses (PAR)