Brisbane Broncos 31
Tries: Boyd, Hunt, McCullough, Oates, Milford, Reed
Goals: Parker 2/4, Kahu 1/2
Field Goals: Milford 1
Sydney Roosters 12
Tries: Ferguson 2
Goals: Maloney 2/2
Brisbane Broncos dominated Sydney Roosters in the first Preliminary Final to book their place in the 2015 NRL Grand Final, with a 31-12 victory in-front of 51,826 fans at the Suncorp Stadium.
Ben Hunt was brilliant for the home side as he had a hand in almost all of their six tries and his half-back partner Anthony Milford was also on top of his game. Adam Blair led the Brisbane pack from the front with a brilliant performance in defence and attack.
Dylan Napa impressed for the defeated Roosters as he dished out some punishing hits and Blake Ferguson picked up a double which put his side back in the contest from 16-0 down, however they failed to post any second half points.
Justin Hodges played in his final game at Suncorp and it could be the last in his career as a dangerous throw was placed on report, and a Grade 1 charge could see him miss the final.
In an extraordinary start Shaun Kenny-Dowall came up with a huge error as he picked up Mitchell Pierce’s kick and attempted to throw a long pass to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, however he found Darius Boyd instead and he raced over for a gift of a try. Corey Parker made no mistake from in-front as they took a 6-0 lead within the first minute.
10 minutes later the Broncos were in for another incredible try, this time it was an act we are seeing more and more in the NRL now. Ben Hunt’s grubber towards the corner was knocked back by Jordan Kahu as he leapt from the field of play, with Hunt touching-down to score.
The hosts ran in another spectacular try 19 minutes in when Hunt fired the ball back inside to his halfback partner Anthony Milford, before following up and retrieving possession and eventually sending over Andrew McCullough who was in support. Parker added the extras to make it 16-0.
Within three minutes the visiting Roosters were off the mark as Blake Ferguson was given some space out-wide and the centre showed great strength to force his way over from close range. James Maloney cut the deficit to 10 points with his conversion.
Ferguson was in for a five minute double as he exposed the Broncos left edge again as he shrugged off a tackle around the legs before barging over for his second. Maloney made it 16-12 with the goal.
The Roosters looked to be going into the sheds within touching distance of their opponents until Hunt came up with some more magic, as he fired a perfect cut-out ball to Corey Oates who scored in the corner on the half-time hooter. Kahu took over the kicking duties but his effort from the touchline was just wide, as Brisbane went into the break 20-12 ahead.
Sydney came out firing and looked to have scored with their first set however the video-ref ruled that Tuivasa-Sheck knocked on in his attempt to knock the ball back to Kenny-Dowall.
Seven minutes into the second period the Broncos extended their lead as Hunt switched the play with a long ball back inside to Milford, and the number six chased down his own kick to score. Kahu converted to make it 26-12.
Oates looked to have been in for a second soon after when Hunt launched another brilliant cut-out ball to the wide man, only for the replays to show his boot finding touch.
His centre partner was over six minutes later though as Ferguson tried a wild offload inside his own 20 and handed possession over to the home side, and from the resulting set Boyd skipped across the pitch before Jack Reed charged onto a flat ball and his momentum carried him over the line. Parker’s conversion attempted hit the post as the lead stayed at 18 points.
It became a 19 point lead with as many minutes left on the clock as Milford calmly slotted a field-goal to take their advantage to four scores.
Wayne Bennett’s men saw out the remainder of the contest to book their place in the NRL Grand Final where they will face the winner of Melbourne Storm vs North Queensland Cowboys.
NothingButRL Man of the Match: Adam Blair was unlucky to miss out but Ben Hunt’s attacking display led the Broncos to victory as he came up with some great try assists and grabbed a four pointer of his own.