The Brisbane Broncos bounced back from a big loss with a resounding 50-18 victory over the Panthers at Suncorp Stadium.
The first half was a Broncos massacre. Pangai jnr grabbed a double in the opening 15 minutes as they racked up 5 tries along the way to a 32-0 half-time lead.
The Panthers regrouped in the second half and posted two quick tries to spark brief hopes of a massive comeback. Any momentum they had was snuffed out when Maloney threw a signature intercept pass that was collected by Nikorima. It was one of two intercept tries for him on the night.
The second half finished at 3 tries apiece but all the damage had been inflicted in the first 40.
Panthers premiership chances down the drain
No team has ever won the premiership having conceded 50 points during the season. The oft-repeated stat tells a damning story for the Panthers premiership chances.
One bad loss has dealt a big blow to their points differential and chances of a Top 4 finish. The cracks in their defence were exploited to the fullest by the Broncos and it was key players like Maloney who were making all the bad decisions.
Broncos have big gap between their best and worst
Last week the Broncos were demolished by the Warriors. In the space of 5 days they were able to turn it around and put on one of their best performances of the season.
The Broncos severely lack consistency at the moment. They were the last team to beat South Sydney but they’ve also struggled to put away teams like the Eels and Dogs.
Milford improving as a half
Milford was keen to run against the Panthers, taking on the line 14 times. While his running game has always been the best feature of his game, it was the confidence and boldness of his kicking that provided the highlights.
Early on he put in a chip and chase over the line which resulted in a try for James Roberts. He nailed a 40/20 late in the game and he controlled the match with his kicking in general play. A few well placed bomb kicks trapping the Panthers in their own 20m zone.
Fullback switch pays immediate dividends
The shifting of Isaako to fullback and Boyd to the centres was another coaching masterstroke by Wayne. The Broncos got their sets off to faster starts due to the strength of Isaako’s kick returns and Boyd did his job of tightening up the left edge defence.
Future opposition may put Isaako under more pressure than what the Panthers could but for the moment the Broncos have developed a potent backline combo.
Tries: Tevita Pangai jnr (4m, 12m), James Roberts (6m). Corey Oates (21m), Darius Boyd (31m), Kodi Nikorima (58m, 75m), Matt Lodge (78m)
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 6/6, Jordan Kahu 3/3
Tries: Waqa Blake (46m), Josh Mansour (50m), Tyrone Peachey (68m)
Goals: Nathan Cleary 3/3