Brisbane Broncos 8
Tries: Jordan Kahu, Corey Oates
Penrith Panthers 5
Goals: Matthew Moylan 2/2
Field Goals: Matthew Moylan
A late try for the Brisbane Broncos from forward Corey Oates kept the home side top of the NRL ladder and satisfied the 24,566 crowd at Suncorp. Friday night’s clash in Brisbane was a low-scoring fixture, with the Panthers leading with only five points with just minutes before full-time.
Reported throughout the week in the media, but only confirmed in the late mail, Origin star Darius Boyd was a late inclusion to the Broncos squad as he returned from injury. This was the catalyst for late changes to the Broncos backline, with Jordan Kahu moving to the wing and Corey Oates starting on the interchange.
With most odds against them leading into the clash, the Panthers benefitted immensely from the late inclusions of Jamie Soward and Elijah Taylor to their squad. Thus, halfback Will Smith and forward Sika Manu were placed on the interchange prior to kick-off.
Tipped to make a huge impact on the Panthers after returning from injury, Jamie Soward crossed the line in the fifth minute after a dummy of his fooled the Broncos defence. The try was taken upstairs for some analysis as questions were raised over the grounding of the ball. The eventual decision was a no try after Jordan Kahu’s tackle on Soward had caused the Panthers halfback to drop the ball.
With a sigh of relief as the scores remained tied, the Broncos hit back at the Panthers with more offensive play over the next ten minutes. During the nineteenth minute, Broncos forward Alex Glenn dived over the line following a brilliant offload from Jack Reed. Again the video referee was brought into play after the referee ruled a no try as Glenn looked to have hit the ground short of the try-line and failed to score. Following analysis, the initial ruling was proved to be valid and either side was still yet to score.
With only minutes until half-time, Broncos winger Jordan Kahu found space on the outskirts of the pitch to dive over the line and secure a Broncos lead going into half-time. Corey Parker’s conversion from the sideline failed and the home side’s lead remained at four. Prior to the siren sounding for half-time, Matthew Moylan converted a remarkable penalty goal due to a late tackle from five-eighth Anthony Milford.
The first points in the second half came during the fifty-fifth minute after a high tackle from Josh McGuire allowed Moylan to ace the penalty kick from close range. After entering the field of play off the interchange, Panthers forward Tyrone Peachey went on report in the sixtieth minute for a highly dangerous tackle on Adam Blair.
The Broncos came close to taking the lead as the video referee was called into play twice in the next ten minutes, both tries were quickly ruled out of contention and the game became heated. As full-time approached Matthew Moylan hit the ground and earned his side a penalty, but the possibility of a penalty goal was instantly ruled out of contention as the Panthers were seeking their first try of the game. Moylan quickly found space in front of the goalposts and gave the Panthers a winning edge with just six minutes to go.
With a possible win against the top-placed Broncos without crossing the line throughout the fixture, the Panthers were giving it their all as the home-side attacked as full-time drew near. Although it wasn’t enough as halfback Ben Hunt and forward Corey Oates barged through the defence, settling the scoreline along with the passionate Brisbane crowd.