The Brisbane Broncos back from their bye round have endured a gritty Newcastle Knights side to snatch an away win 34-22 after being behind at half time.
GALLANT KNIGHTS GREAT HALF
The Newcastle Knights were leading at half-time 12-6 until the Brisbane side came back after the break to put on three tries in 10 minutes and make the Knights play catch-up football for the rest of the match. The home side however was showing great enthusiasm from the start with the likes of forwards Jamie Buhrer, Mitch Barnett and Daniel Saifiti showing determination while laying a platform for their halves to play well. The Knights had brave goal line defence forcing errors and making the Broncos halves kicking to be wayward or too heavy giving the Knights an advantage with 7 tackle sets. Following a try against them Newcastle halfback Trent Hodkinson created a try for his captain in Sione Mata’utia drawing opposition half Ben Hunt to split the line to score and also set up a great short raid involving fullback Nathan Ross to slip inside and place hooker Danny Levi following through for an excellent try for the lead.
TRIO OF TRIES IN TEN MINUTES
Three tries after the half-time break burnt the Newcastle Knights from being able to grab an upset. A shift to centre Joe Wardle on the last tackle made the home side pay when he kicked into Brisbane centre James Roberts who ended up not playing at the ball to then regather and speed away 70 metres to score from their opening set of the half. Perseverance from forward Sam Thaiday close to the try line threw a ball back over the defence finding centre Tautau Moga to crash over, and just after leveling the points the second rower found another opportunity through the middle with a pass to a fellow forward and to offload for five eighth Anthony Milford to put Broncos ahead 24-12 with 30 minutes left. It was all but too much in the end for the Knights to come back who were able to score another two tries while the their opponents doing the same ending in a 12-point win.
GAGAI PHENOMENON CONTINUES
Many were waiting for this game to see whether Dane Gagai (the first ever winger to win the player of the series in State of Origin) would back up his performance for the Knights. Behind six points in the 62nd minute of the match a crisp cut out ball from Hodkinson found Gagai who ran an amazing line for a try which helped his side back into the game. The Newcastle player bound for South Sydney Rabbitohs next season backed up well from origin with a try , 2 line breaks and 13 runs for 120 metres. His form into the back end of the season will no doubt continue as Gagai has been one of the best players this year for both club and representative rugby league.
ORIGIN PLAYERS RESTED
Coach Wayne Bennett decided to rest State of Origin pair Matt Gillett and Josh McGuire before the match. The Broncos without their best forwards took a while to adjust with the other forwards having to step up and lead their side to a win. Front rower Korbin Sims was crucial in their fight back in the second half, playing against his former side he was able to barge over three Knights players to slam the ball down for a try after being short of the line earlier in the match. Alex Glen and Sam Thaiday also provided plenty of power which was too much for an inexperienced Newcastle side to handle late in the match.
Tries: Jordan Kahu, James Roberts, Tautau Moga, Anthony Milford, Korbin Sims, Jonus Pearson
Goals: Jordan Kahu 5/6
Tries: Sione Mata’utia, Danny Levi, Chanel Mata’utia, Dane Gagai
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 3/4