The Brisbane Broncos have absolutely embarrassed the Titans on Saturday night, handing them their biggest loss ever with a 54-0 smashing.
Night of Records
Saturday night saw a number of records being set, and many of them were ones that the Titans will hope to never hear about again. The 54-0 score line was the Titans biggest ever loss, and furthermore, was the biggest loss by any NRL side this season. The Broncos had plenty to celebrate, recording their biggest ever away victory, as well as scoring their most points since 2007, which is ironically the year the Titans entered the competition.
Wayne Bennet showed on Saturday that he still has plenty of tricks in his coaching bag, with his decision to start Sam Thaiday at hooker and bring Ben Hunt off the bench proving to be a masterstroke. Thaiday played a simple role of distributing the ball from hooker in the opening 20 minutes of the game, and he strengthened the Broncos defence as the Titans made several attempts to crack their line. Once Hunt was brought on at the 20th minute mark against the tired Titans, the Broncos suddenly had a whole new life in attack, with Kodi Nikorima crossing for their first try just 3 minutes later. Hunt went on to terrorize the Titans, scoring 3 tries and setting up another 2, giving the Broncos a new found confidence after there were concerns about how they would fare in the finals without hooker Andrew McCullough.
Titans Reach a New Low
They had their terrible injury toll to use as an excuse earlier in the season, however now it appears that the Titans have simply stopped caring after basically laying down and letting the Broncos run rampant over them on Saturday night. They put up a decent fight in the first half, keeping the Broncos scoreless until the 23rd minute, but once the scoreline became an unreachable 22-0 after 48 minutes, the Titans seemingly gave up. There was no effort or commitment in the Titans defence, and it appears that a serious change is needed to get the team playing to their standards in 2018.
Broncos Escape Trouble
Despite the calls having no impact on the scoreline of the game, there were two terrible instances in the second half where the referees failed to punish the Broncos for blatantly obvious send-off offences. Former Titan James Roberts was clearly seen punching Ryan James in the face during a heated scuffle, and despite the Titans captain’s complaints to the officials, Roberts was allowed to stay on the field. Broncos forward Joe Ofahengaue was also lucky to not be sent off after he dangerously lifted young Titan Max King’s legs vertically and dropped him on his head.
Brisbane Broncos 54
Tries: Hunt 3, Oates 2, Nikorima 2, Roberts, Milford, McGuire
Goals: Kahu 6, Milford 1
Gold Coast Titans 0