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Electric first half sets Broncos up for big win

Twenty unanswered points in the first half set the Broncos up for a dominant 32-10 win over the Roosters on Thursday night, which keeps them on track to secure a top four spot in coming weeks.

Author: 

Corey Rosser, NRL Reporter

In what was arguably their best opening 40 minutes of the year, Herbie Farnworth, Ezra Mam and Patrick Carrigan crossed for tries, with Adam Reynolds converting all three and adding a penalty in front of a boisterous crowd at The Gabba. 

While Brisbane's fourth-straight win keeps them right in the race for the minor premiership – jumping them to the top of the Telstra Premiership ladder for the meantime ahead of the Panthers playing on Saturday night – it could spell the end of the Roosters' hopes of playing finals in 2023. 

Reynolds pulled the strings beautifully in a performance which included two try assists, while up front Payne Haas and co dominated the contest in the middle. 

On an otherwise dreadful night, veteran wing Daniel Tupou became the Roosters' all-time record try-scorer with his 140th try, scored 10 minutes from full-time.

Brisbane came screaming out of the gates, and after Farnworth's reaching effort on four minutes, Reece Walsh chipped the ball perfectly over the top for a flying Mam to collect for a try under the posts. 

With Reynolds converting both and then adding a penalty, the Broncos assumed a 12-0 lead which they held until Carrigan got over for the first try of his 78-game career six minutes from the break. 

Prior to that the Roosters had a James Tedesco try rubbed out when the Bunker found an obstruction in the lead up. 

Down 20-0 at the break, the Tricolours enjoyed a glut of early possession in the second half but couldn't find a way through the organised Brisbane goal-line defence. 

A fourth Broncos try to Kotoni Staggs was ruled out for offside on 54 minutes, but there was no denying him 13 minutes later when he punished Lindsay Collins for an error coming off his own line, for his fourth try in seven games against the Roosters. 

Billy Smith and Tupou got over in the final quarter for the Roosters, with the latter being a historically significant achievement, but it was Mam who had the final say with a runaway effort scored after a wayward kick from Smith gifted him an open field. 

Match Snapshot 

  • The Broncos secured their 15th win of the year and fourth on the trot.
  • From 16 carries Payne Hass racked up 171 run metres. He was one of five Brisbane forwards to reach triple digit figures with ball in hand. 
  • Roosters back-rower Egan Butcher didn't play beyond the 12th minute after he failed a HIA.
  • Jared Waerea-Hargreaves went on report in the 26th minute for a dangerous tackle. 
  • Brisbane broke 44 tackles compared to the Roosters' 25. 
  • In his 78th game at NRL level, Patrick Carrigan celebrated scoring his first try in the top flight. 
  • Broncos halfback Adam Reynolds has now scored 44 points in his past three games.

Play of the Game
A lovely link up between two of the Broncos' youngest stars. Having nearly sent Thomas Flegler over with a short ball a play earlier, Reece Walsh reset and put a chip kick on a dime for Mam, who timed his run perfectly and left the Roosters with no chance of stopping him once he got hands on the Steeden. 

What They Said 
"We gave them the first opportunity and they took it. I think they had two good-ball sets and two tries, which was really disappointing, and then when we had our opportunities, we didn't look threatening. We were well beaten tonight... there is always belief, until someone says there is zero percent chance [of making the finals], if there is a chance then you attack it." – Roosters coach Trent Robinson. 

"Our first half, I don't think I've seen us play as physical and controlled as that for a long time... what we need to do is to maintain that [defensive attitude] and drive it each week. We haven't been able to do that so far this year consistently. Tonight it was really good, [the Roosters] got two tries, both of those from kicks." – Broncos coach Kevin Walters. 

What's Next 
The Broncos enjoy a nine-day turnaround now before taking on the Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, with Brendan Piakura set to be available again after time out with a virus and Jesse Arthars returning from a one-game suspension. The Roosters are in action again on Thursday night in Round 23, hosting the Sea Eagles at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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