Brisbane Broncos 28
Tries: Anthony Milford 2, Jack Reed, Josh Maguire
Goals: Corey Parker 6
Field Goals: nil
Parramatta Eels 16
Tries: Bureta Faraimo 3
Goals: Chris Sandow 2
Field Goals: nil
Brisbane have claimed top spot on the National Rugby League ladder with a 28-16 over Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium.
They were first to score after fourteen minutes despite a strong start from the visitors. Jack Reed diving over in the corner after Corey Parker put the Broncos ahead with a penalty goal moments earlier. Reed was unlucky not to have a second thirteen minutes from the break when the officials pulled up Justin Hodges’ line-ball pass.
Parramatta got on the board just before the break with Corey Norman creating an overlap that put rookie winger Bureta Faraimo over. Even though the Eels had a wealth of possession in the Broncos twenty they were unable to convert and went into the break 8-4 behind in the contest.
It appeared the Eels were building momentum in the early stages of the second half but yet again the Broncos scored first off the back of a mistake by John Folau inside his half that saw Josh Maguire pin the ears back to score next to the posts.
The Eels had some luck with a six again call and a pass from Sandow to Norman being given the green night in the leadup to Faraimo’s second with thirty to play.
The game was still in the balance with twenty to play when Wayne Bennett injected Kodi Nikorima into the game and it payed dividends almost immediately when he flicked a pass back on the inside for Anthony Milford to score.
Once again Parramatta threatened to steal the game from Brisbane when Faraimo completed his hat-trick with ten to go. But it was Milford who cleaned up a grubber kick and ran the length of the field to score that decided the game and putting the Broncos in the number one position leading into the representative round.
At times the Eels lacked discipline and struggled with their completions. They couldn’t take advantage of field position as they ran sideways inside the Broncos twenty. Faraimo’s first hat-trick in the top grade was a highlight for the Eels who sit in second last after the loss.
Sam Thiaday is certain to be selected for the Australian side when it’s announced tomorrow evening. Justin Hodges had a solid game in his return from injury and given the lack of experience available for the Kangaroos is likely to be given the nod.
Maguire is on report for a ‘slap’ on Brad Taikarangi after eleven minutes but it’s doubtful that he has any case to answer. Anthony Watmough was reported in the fifty-eighth minute for a high tackle on Lachlan Maranta.
In devastating news for Mitch Dodds his season appears over after an ACL injury ended his match in the first half.