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REPORT | Brisbane Broncos 22 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20

In controversial fashion, the Brisbane Broncos have claimed a close win over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 22-20 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The win sees the Broncos climb back into the top eight, while the Bulldogs still languish down in 14th.

MATCH DETAILS

The Bulldogs made numerous changes to their side, a bold move from Dean Pay. However it seemed to have paid off, with the cool play from Matt Frawley evident and strong play from Jeremy Marshall-King out of dummy half. The Bulldogs were rewarded with their early work, with a try to Rhyse Martin in the fourth minute, giving them a 6-0. The penalties began to go against the Bulldogs from that point, and mixed with errors, Brisbane were able to march up the field and score through Corey Oates on the left wing. A Darius Boyd slip gave the Dogs a chance to reclaim the lead, and they did so. A penalty goal followed that, giving the visitors a 14-6 lead heading into half time. The Dogs were far more active than the Broncos, but were struggling to capitalise on their opportunities.

Much like their game against the Rabbitohs a week ago, the Broncos dominated second half with 65 percent possession in the opening 15 minutes, and utilising that ball dominance to score through Alex Glenn. The Bulldogs continued to be hit hard with referee decisions, and an obstruction call lead to a penalty goal that leveled the scores at 14-14. The Broncos though once again gifted a try to the Bulldgos after Jack Bird replicated Darius Boyd, slipping over and failing to recover the ball. The try to Kerrod Holland put the visitors up 20-14 with 15 minutes left to play. Though the Broncos found themselves close to the line with James Roberts setting up Joe Ofahengaue with a scoring opportunity, and he crashed under the posts and leveled the game with five minutes left. The game would end in controversial fashion after a penalty awarded to the Broncos in front of the posts, and allowing Jamayne Isaako to win the game for his side 22-20. What was evident, like last week, was Brisbane’s ability to find a way to win.

FOUR POINTERS

Another strong second half helps the Broncos

For the majority of the season Brisbane have struggled to match their opposition’s energy in the early stages of games. It was no different against the Dogs who were the better side in the first half, but 65 percent possession through the first 15 minutes of the second half and an Alex Glenn try kept Brisbane in the contest. The likes of Jaydn Su’A, Matt Lodge and Tevita Pangai Jr. powered Brisbane’s running game in the middle, and calls going their way also helping them get over the line.

A bizarre night for the referees

The referees once again will be under fire as the Bulldogs were dealt numerous blows with penalties conceded. The penalty count was 2-0 to the Bulldogs after the opening 10 minutes, before Brisbane were given eight of the next nine which helped them remain in the contest. A dropped ball from Jamayne Isaako in the second half which looked to have gone forward, followed by a questionable obstruction call against Canterbury and then advancing 10 metres for backchat was the biggest blow for the Dogs to concede.

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Mistakes continue to haunt the Dogs

Their demise may have been at the hands of the refs, but in most scenarios the Dogs made costly mistakes that could have decided the game differently. This has been the sctipt for a cuple of years now, where great ball running in the middle through their forwards sets up opportunities that their backs fail to convert.  The Bulldogs finished with 10 errors in the game, with coach Dean Pay admitting that was a weakness in his side’s performance.

Boyd lifting form at an important time

No other Bronco has copped as much flack as Darius Boyd in 2018, with many questioning his leadership abilities as well as his playing skill. Regardless of slipping over and effectively handing the Bulldogs their second try, Boyd was in fine form for his side. A great cut-out ball to Corey Oates opened the scoring for his side and his inclusion in the backline and safe hands under the high ball were vital.

WHAT ARE THEY SAYING

Wayne Bennet was happy the way his side came from behind and didn’t give up, and added how pleased he was with his forwards performance given the unit’s injury list.

Bulldogs Coach Dean Pay said there were a lot of decisions that went against his side, and that they should never have been put in a position to lose the game.

THE RESULT

Broncos: 22
Tries: Oates (14m), Glenn (44m), Ofahengaue (74m)
Goals: Isaako 5/5
Field Goals: N/A

Bulldogs: 20
Tries: Martin (4m), Frawley (37m), Holland (64m)
Goals: Mbye 4/5
Field Goals: N/A

SQUADS

Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd, 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Tom Opacic, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Jack Bird, 8 Matthew Lodge, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Sam Thaiday, 11 Alex Glenn, 12 Jaydn Su’A, 13 Tevita Pangai Jr. Interchange 14 Payne Haas, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 16 Kodi Nikorima, 17 Korbin Sims

Bulldogs: 1 Moses Mbye, 2 Brett Morris, 3 Josh Morris, 4 Will Hopoate, 5 Marcelo Montoya, 23 Matt Frawley, 7 Kieran Foran, 8 Aaron Woods, 6 Jeremy Marshall-King, 10 15 Danny Fualalo, 20 Rhyse Martin, 12 Raymond Faitala0Mariner, 11 Josh Jackson Interchange 10 David Klemmer, 13 Adam Elliot, 14 Clay priest, 17 Kerrod Holland

Aspiring sports journalist, currently studying at AUT in Auckland, New Zealand.

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