2021 NRL Round 23, Broncos 24 Warriors 22 – Report

Brad Inger reviews the Broncos vs Warriors clash. Here’s how the game went.


Broncos 24

Tries: Xavier Coates (21, 25), Albert Kelly (55), Anthony Milford (71)

Goals: Herbie Farnworth (22, 26, 57, 72)

Warriors 24

Tries: Marcelo Montoya (29), Peta Hiku (42), Josh Curran (48), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (62), Euan Aitken (77)

Goals: Reece Walsh (49)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Anthony Milford (Broncos)
2 pts – Peta Hiku (Warriors)
1 pt – Xavier Coates (Broncos)


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1st Half

After matches went in their favour, the Warriors chances of playoffs were still alive as this match started. However, the Broncos looked more threatening in the early stages after a break from Payne Haas opened the game up, but the Warriors managed to scramble to keep Brisbane out. The Broncos kept the pressure on and looked to have scored a try after the Warriors attempted to run the ball out of their own in-goal and lost possession. The Bunker deemed that there was a knock-on during the tackle, and the try was denied. Brisbane kept plugging away but let the Warriors off the look when they lost the ball in a tackle. The New Zealand side surged at the field and, after earning a six again, had a full set deep in Brisbane territory; a few tackles later, it looked like Euan Aitken had barged his way over for the first try of the afternoon, but once again the Bunker needed to be called upon, and Aitken was deemed to have used double movement when scoring so the scores remained 0-0. The sides started trading sets with errors plaguing both, with the Warriors almost scoring off a tap back only to lose control of the ball. Brisbane got the scoreboard ticked over on the next set when they put up a bomb that Reece Walsh failed to defuse, allowing Xavier Coates to chase down the bouncing ball to score the first try of the match. After another error from the Warriors, the Broncos found themselves in good field position and wasted little time with Anthony Milford throwing a cutout pass to send Coates over for his second. Walsh made up for his error moments later when he sniped out of dummy-half and scorched up the field, running 50 – 60 metres before the Broncos managed to drag him down. The Warriors were on the board a few tackles later, with Marcelo Montoya finishing off a simple backline passing play in the corner. Brisbane then were penalised for their kick-off attempt going out, but Walsh failed to find the sideline when kicking for touch. The Broncos appeared to be over yet again when Milford crossed, but Peta Hiku managed to wrap him up and prevent him from grounding it. Hiku was in the mix a few tackles later when the Warriors put up a bomb which he kicked on, and after Chad Townsend pushed it into the in-goal, Hiku pounced on the loose ball. The Bunker was called on again, and he was deemed to have knocked the ball on in the motion of grounding. With the clock winding down, Brisbane looked the more dangerous side, making a few half breaks, but the combination of their lack of polish and the Warriors scrambling defence kept the scores at 12-4 to the Broncos as both sides went into the sheds.

HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 12 New Zealand Warriors 4

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2nd Half

The Warriors hit the ground running in the second half, almost nailing a 40/20 on their first set. On their second set, a cutout pass to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak on the fifth tackle forced the winger to kick a grubber which Hiku them kicked forward before diving on it over the line to reduce Brisbane lead to four. With momentum in their favour, the New Zealand side earned a repeat set after Brisbane allowed their kick to bounce into the in-goal. After Bunty Afoa almost crashed over the line, Josh Curran finished the job hitting and spinning his way over the chalk, handing the Warriors the lead for the first time in the match. The Broncos were close to scoring in response, but Milfords kick went out of the full. The game went back and forth for several sets before Albert Kelly latched onto a fortuitous bouncing ball to hand the Broncos back the lead. The Warriors struck back after earning another repeat set; after Montoya almost touched down in the left corner, the New Zealand side swung the ball out to the right to Hiku, who drew in the defenders before flicking the ball out to Watene-Zelezniak. Walsh missed the conversion, which saw the game levelled 18, all with just under 20 minutes to go. The pressure was mounting with ten minutes passing with no points being scored, but Brisbane got themselves back in front in the 71st minute when Milford crossed the try line after his own kick was tapped back to him. Time was running out for the New Zealand side, but they managed to score another try via Aitken that looked like Coates had grounded the ball first, but the Bunker gave the try to Warriors. Walsh’s poor night at the kicking tee continued when the young Fullback shanked another one to see the visitors trailing by two with only two minutes remaining. The Warriors had one final shot when Walsh attempted a two-point field goal, but it swayed to the left. Brisbane controlled the ball for the final moments playing safe football and held on for a well-deserved victory, with the Warriors slim playoff dreams now over.

FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 24 New Zealand Warriors 22


to be advised

Match Review Committee

to be advised

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