A thrilling performance from the Brisbane Broncos on Sunday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium saw them continue their dominance, trumping the Manly Sea Eagles 48-16.
A try in the opening minute of the match set the tone for what would be a dominant display from the boys from Brisbane. Off the back of a scintillating 40 metre run from halfback Kodi Nikorima, five-eighth Anthony Milford used his agility and deft kicking to send Corey Oates over for their first try of the afternoon. A penalty in the eighth minute gave Jamayne Isaako the opportunity to put the Broncos out to a 6-0 lead, before Nikorima made use of a sweeping right hand shift and sliced through Manly’s left edge defence to score. Manly’s response came just four minutes later, when a spectacular no-look pass from halfback Daly Cherry-Evans saw backrower Shaun Lane muscle his way to the try line. Ill-discipline in the ruck from Manly gifted the Broncos another two points, before Oates spectacularly diffused a cross-field kick and bolted 95 metres to elevate the score to 20-6 after 26 minutes. Despite being dominated by the Broncos for the majority of the first half, Manly managed to hit back before half time, with winger Brad Parker crossing in the right corner after receiving a tremendous long ball from Cherry Evans. The Broncos’ effort saw them go into the break leading 20-10.
A knock-on from backrower Joel Thompson just one minute after the commencement of play set the tone for what would be a disappointing forty minutes for the boys from Manly. It took just four minutes for the Broncos to score their first try of the second half, with centre James Roberts utilising his speed to pounce on a well-weighted Milford grubber kick. It was blinding speed from Milford and a spectacular gather from Oates in the 50th minute that saw the Broncos extend their lead to 22 points, before Oates bagged his fourth with a spectacular put down in left hand corner. A Manly fightback appeared to be on the cards in the 65th minute, when Jake Trbojevic scored a terrific try in the middle of the field, curtesy of a makeshift grubber kick from forward Martin Taupau. However, two late tries in the 70th and 75th minutes, to Jamayne Isaako and Joe Ofahengaue respectively, iced the cake and ensured a Broncos victory (48-16).
Oates Bags Four
A terrific individual performance from winger Corey Oates saw him become just the seventh Bronco to score four times in a match. His blinding speed and spectacular finishing ability was instrumental in helping the Broncos secure a home NRL final. If Oates can replicate the 199-metre effort he displayed in this Round 25 clash throughout the finals series, he will give the Broncos a great opportunity to secure the 2018 Telstra NRL Premiership.
Manly’s Forwards Gallant in Defeat
Despite being dominated by the Broncos on the scoreboard, Manly’s forward pack did the best they could to challenge their opponents’ defensive line. Addin Fonua-Blake, Martin Taupau and Jake Trbojevic were instrumental in inspiring Manly’s second phase play, creating the large majority of their 19 offloads.
Broncos Secure Home Final
The Broncos’ 32-point victory against Manly has elevated them to sixth position on the NRL Ladder and secured a home elimination final against the St. George Illawarra Dragons next Sunday. When considering the home advantage and the electric atmosphere of the crowd, this finals match is set to be an enthralling contest.
Manly left to Rue Errors
The 10 incomplete sets, 25 missed tackles and 12 handling errors made it very difficult for the boys from Manly to gain valuable field position or mount any pressure on their opponents. Whilst they did exhibit some attacking prowess, it was their defensive lapses that cemented their demise. The poor reads and yawning gaps in their defensive line made it too easy for Wayne Bennett’s men to slice through.
Brisbane Broncos 48
Tries: Corey Oates 4, Kodi Nikorima, James Roberts, Jamayne Isaako, Joe Ofahengaue
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 6
Manly Sea Eagles 16
Tries: Shaun Lane, Brad Parker, Jake Trbojevic
Goals: Daly Cherry Evans 1, Trent Hodkinson 1
Brisbane Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd, 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Jordan Kahu, 5 Jamayne Isaako, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 8 Matthew Lodge, 13 Josh McGuire, 10 Sam Thaiday, 17 David Fifita, 12 Tevita Pangai Junior, 15 Joe Ofahengaue. Interchange: 9 Jake Turpin , 14 Patrick Mago, 16 Korbin Sims, 20 Kotoni Staggs.
Manly Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Brad Parker, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans, 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Manase Fainu, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Kelepi Tanginoa, 16 Jack Gosiewski, 17 Taniela Paseka.