The Broncos notched up another win in controversial fashion as they prevailed 28-22 over the Sydney Roosters in an enthralling contest at Suncorp Stadium.
The match was a see-sawing, competitive affair for the whole 80 minutes. The two teams spent the first 62 minutes of the match trading tries as the Broncos opened the scoring through Corey Oates before the Roosters hit back with a try to Luke Keary.
The lead bounced back and forth until the Roosters seemed to gain the edge after Boyd Cordner scored from a grubber kick in the 66th minute to make it 22-16. Some individual brilliance from James Roberts produced a try to level the scores before Jamayne Isaako came up with a solo effort of his own to win the game after feigning a field goal attempt.
The sin binning of Dylan Napa prior to Isaako’s try has been a hot debate across experts and fans alike.
Napa makes literal headlines
In the 74th minute Dylan Napa came flying in to put a shot on Korbin Sims, colliding heads in the process as this video demonstrates. https://streamable.com/50y4n
The referee deemed Napa to have led with his head and placed him on report and in the bin. Many argued he had deliberately launched himself forward to put in a reckless shot with no intention to make a tackle attempt while others including the coach Trent Robinson were adamant it was the wrong decision and it had been a simple clash of heads.
Napa escaped a charge but it’ll be of little consolation as the Roosters rued a decision that influenced the final result.
Centre battle delivers
The battle between two NSW hopefuls delivered a great duel as Latrell Mitchell and James Roberts attempted to one-up each other throughout the game.
Mitchell seemed to have Roberts number in the first half as he ran over the top of him yet again to set up Luke Keary’s 2nd try. Roberts weaknesses in defence were on display as Mitchell was proving to be too strong for him.
Roberts would get his revenge in the 2nd half however with a try assist for Isaako in the corner after Mitchell had rushed out of the line. Later on Roberts completely burned Mitchell for speed as he ran around the Roosters line into space for the match-equalling try.
Both players put in a strong offensive effort whilst also reminding the NSW selectors of their less than stellar defensive work.
Kotoni Staggs debut to remember
A late inclusion on the bench, Staggs was called into the action early after Tom Opacic went down with a head knock and made a big impact as the replacement centre.
Some slick hands on a backline shift saw Staggs set up Oates for the opening try before scoring a try of his own 10 minutes out from half-time. From 15m out he surged on to a Pangai Jr offload and broke through 2 tackle attempts to plant the ball down.
It was an incredibly debut performance from Staggs who could give coach Wayne Bennett a selection headache as he decides where the best fit for Jack Bird is.
Excessive milking a blight on the game
It’s becoming an embarrassing feature of matches lately to see players deliberately throwing the ball at opposition players stuck behind the marker on the ground.
Anthony Milford picked up a ball at dummy half and without even looking at where he was going to pass the ball, he just threw it backwards onto a prone Napa to get a penalty. The Roosters later got one back as Jake Friend threw a ball into Darius Boyd but it might be an action that deserves a review.
By the letter of the law, the players are interfering in the play the ball and are appropriately punished by the referees. However the players that are deliberately going out of their way to milk penalties aren’t acting in the spirit of the game.
Tries: Corey Oates (6m), Kotoni Staggs (30m), Jamayne Isaako (49m, 77m), James Roberts (72m)
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 4/6
Tries: Luke Keary (19m, 33m), Isaac Liu (62m), Boyd Cordner (66m)
Goals: Latrell Mitchell 3/4