A Matt Gillett charge down set up James Roberts for the match winning try, in which the Broncos pulled through 24-22 on Good Friday against the Titans. The Titans struck a rare strong start, and put the Broncos on their heels early scoring two quick tries. Brisbane retains a top eight spot after their win, while the Titans remain solidly in the bottom half of the table.
Jimmy saves Brisbane
In a night filled with tension, James Roberts was the saving grace for Brisbane in what was nearly a huge upset. Brisbane was heavily scrappy early on, and the Titans were clinical. An early 12-0 lead meant the Broncos had to kick into gear. Roberts scored Brisbane’s first try off a ball from Darius Boyd, and simply had to drop over the line to score. While his second was a tremendous set play off a scrum, and a swooping run meant an immediate headache was made for Dale Copley defensively. Roberts was then in support of Matt Gillett after his charge down and raced over, evading two defenders to score in the 78th minute. Roberts hadn’t scored a hat trick since 2015 with the Titans, and has already accumulated 7 tries for the season. If his form can continue like this, or even get better, Brisbane’s attack will start to turn some heads.
Titans find rare fast start
The Titans have been notorious for slow starts in 2017, and this was almost an unknown situation with a quick start against the Broncos. Coming into the match, the Titans had been outscored 56-18 in the first 20 minutes of games in 2017. The Titans came out of the gates with tremendous pace to their game, and dominated the Broncos in all areas. The forwards were rolling, and they forced Brisbane into some early penalties, as well as some desperate tackles. A terrific first try for Anthony Don set the path for continued dominance, and Ryan James scored a try after 14 minutes to make it 12-0. Brisbane however managed to change pace and strung together some good sets. Eventually the class and defensive capabilities of the Broncos took over, and a win came their way in scrappy and tense measures late on.
Peats’ return was a huge boost for the Titans, and they should be able to build on their promising start. The haves along with Captain Ryan James are also important men to watch next week, seeing if they too can improve on solid performances.
Milford/Nikorima show glimpses of brilliance
The former under 13s players in South Queensland have had a lot of hype built up around their possible connection come the departure of Ben Hunt, and a mixed night would leave fans content. Nikorima and Milford were given a run together back in 2015, but since Nikorima has excelled at the dummy half position, and we have not been graced with what is expected to be in sync combination.
Both men were relatively quiet early on, but as Brisbane kicked into gear, so did Milford. He accounted for the most running metres or the team with 218, and some key passes runs and helped out the team on attack. Milford especially had a great try where he pounced on a knock on from Ash Taylor, and passed off to Roberts who then returned the favour and saw Milford score in the corner. Nikorima scored a try, in which he evaded multiple defenders and squared the game up in the second half. A work in progress, but a combo worth relishing for the future.
Tyrone Roberts continues to rise at the back
A man who was an underrated half for the Knights, and was expected to do more for the Titans in his move north, Tyrone Roberts impressed at fullback on Friday. Roberts played his fourth game at the position, and this was by far his best this year. His composure was the real pointer to his solid performance, alooking comfortable and easy at the back. Roberts had a solid start, and built on this with a tremendous run to the right side of the field, and a great flick out the back set up Anthony Don for a 70 metre try, which opened the scoring. Roberts averaged 7.5 metres per run in the game, a season best, as well as making 11 tackles, a personal best as a fullback in 2017.
Roberts will most likely keep his spot, and with Hayne’s consistent drama in the team with selection, Roberts rise in form should settle some worried fans.
Tries: Roberts (3) (21m, 30m, 78m), Nikorima (57m), Milford (63m)
Goals: Kahu 2/5
Tries: Don (10m), James (14m), Grevsmuhl (36m), Elgey (70m)
Goals: Taylor 3/4