Brisbane Broncos – 31
Tries: Anthony Milford (4m), Jack Reed (39m, 41m), Andrew McCullough (46m), Corey Oates (61m).
Goals: Jordan Kahu 3/3 conversions, 1/1 penalties. Ben Hunt ½ conversions. Anthony Milford 1/1 field goals.
Newcastle Knights – 18
Tries: Tyler Randell (11m), Korbin Sims (18m), Joey Leilua (28m).
Goals: Tyrone Roberts 3/3 conversions.
The Broncos continued to solidify themselves among the competitions elite with a convincing road win over the struggling Knights.
With a long list of troops on Origin duty, Darius Boyd, Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday, Corey Parker, Josh McGuire, and Matt Gillett all unavailable, and the late withdrawal of Dale Copley forcing a multitude of changes to the originally named backline, the Broncos looked to be up against it, particularly travelling to Hunter Stadium. However, the men from Brisbane were quick to strike the first blow, Anthony Milford going over in just the fourth minute to begin the Broncos campaign.
The celebrations quickly came to a halt as Newcastle would take over the game, with tries in the 11th, 18th and 28th minutes pushing the home side out to an 18-6 lead, the Knights clearly looked in command of proceedings, moving the ball up the field seemingly at will. In the 39th minute however the Broncos would strike again, this time through Jack Reed, and while Ben Hunt would miss an easy conversion attempt, the try would take a little shine off a dominant first half performance. At the break the Knights had made 829 metres to the Broncos 525, made double the number of line breaks, with half the number of missed tackles.
Momentum would take a monumental swing in the second half, Jordan Kahu exploding off the kickoff with a line break that would lead to the Broncos scoring in the 41st minute through Reed again. With two tries in a matter of minutes, the Broncos had their tails up, and were quick to capitalise again this time through Andrew McCullough crossing in the 46th minute, a try to accompany his 56 tackles on the night. The Broncos left edge were causing havoc, and the Knights had no answers, looking a completely different side to that which we saw in the first half. In the 61st Corey Oates would cross for the Broncos third of the half, the final try of the night, while Milford would add a field goal late to put the icing on the cake. A true game of two halves, the Broncos were clinical in the second stanza. A monstrous 1015 metres to the Knights 613, 90% completion rate to 67%, six line breaks to two, three errors to seven.
The win stands the Broncos second on the ladder, their eight wins tied for the most wins in the competition so far. After winning their first four games, the Knights have now won just one of their past seven, sitting 12th on the ladder and looking one of the most unconvincing teams in the competition. They meet a tough task now with a trip over the ditch to take on a Warriors side growing in confidence, the Broncos meanwhile will brave the cold in Canberra with their Origin stars backing up on Saturday night against the Raiders.
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