Brisbane Broncos 48
Tries: Ben Barba 3, Jack Reed 2, Lachlan Maranta, Daniel Vidot, Matt Gillett
Goals: Corey Parker 4/5, Ben Hunt 2/4
Newcastle Knights 6
Tries: Korbin Sims
Goals: Kurt Gidley 1/1
Newcastle Knights prop Adam Cuthbertson may want to forget Saturday night’s clash against the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium in front of 22,282 fans, as what followed was not the landslide that he had in mind for his last game in the red and blue stripes.
Tyrone Roberts begun the game with kick off and the Broncos were quick to test the Knights defence in attack, the Broncos then lost the ball from a handling error. From there on a series of failed attacking schemes continued for both teams as the first 17 minutes of the match quickly became an anti-climatic end-to-end game of footy.
On the 17th minute, Broncos winger Daniel Vidot looked hopeful to score following a grubber kick from Justin Hodges that ended up rolling over the dead-ball line. But his faith was restored when following multiple attempts, Vidot received a perfectly cut-pass on the 10-metre line and was able to carefully place the ball in the corner of the field to give the Broncos a winning edge.
In the 33rd minute, Joseph Leilua received a penalty after being tackled high from a Broncos player which gave the Knights a brilliant opportunity for four-points. Tyrone Roberts appeared to have restored that faith when he appealed for a try after grounding the ball behind the posts. The appeal was then denied after the video referee came forward with the evidence that Roberts had indeed grounded the ball, but on the dead-ball line. Rules state the dead-ball line is deemed out, so the Knights sat on 0.
Matt Gillett put the Broncos to double digits in the 35th minute when he received an assist following some individual brilliance from fellow Captain Justin Hodges. Ben Hunt had a crack at converting but failed.
The half couldn’t have ended on a worse note for the Hunter side when a brilliant grubber kick from Matt Gillett saw Jack Reed grip the ball and dash 20 metres to score. Ben Hunt again missed the conversion, making it 0/2 for him in the first half while teammate Corey Parker sat on 1/1 following his conversion in the 21st minute.
Within minutes of the half beginning, the tides turned when Knights forward Korbin Sims barged through the Broncos defence off a quick tap from the 10-metre line, allowing Kurt Gidley to make it six for the Knights and ignite the hopes of a possible comeback in the second half.
15 minutes later, Broncos fullback Lachlan Maranta made an impressive 60-metre dash down the field before coming to a halt metres from the line. Immediately the Broncos looked more and more threatening as they approached the try line and it was Maranta who again swooped in from a beautifully placed pass, this time planting the ball over the try line.
Broncos Halfback Ben Barba scored his first try of the night in the 60th minute when he received a pass from Jack Reed and burst through the Knights defence. Shortly after, Corey Parker was sidelined with a head injury leaving Ben Hunt to take the remaining conversions.
The crowd erupted when Ben Barba came out of nowhere and scored a try following a poorly placed offload from Super League-bound Knights prop Adam Cuthbertson.
Barba then reached a hat trick within an 11-minute time space when he turned a Broncos grubber kick into magic and dived through a defensive gap.
The game ended in pure cruel form for the Knights when Corey Oates made running 30 metres all the way to the opposition ingoal look easier than getting air-time on a trampoline. Jack Reed then scored another try just seconds after. Ben Hunt was able to convert both tries.
The Broncos are now looking a very dangerous side and sitting on 26 points they are a win away from making the finals. They play the St. George Illawarra Dragons next Friday at Suncorp.