Brendan Wood reviews the Brisbane Broncos determined 11-4 upset win over last year’s grand finalists the South Sydney Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane Broncos 11
Tries: Albert Kelly 23, Corey Oates 51
Goals: Jamayne Isaako 25
Field Goals: Kurt Capewell 76
South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
Tries: Josh Mansour 31
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The Broncos made a strong start in the opening exchanges. Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan led from the front and found plenty of metres up the middle early. Despite starting on the backfoot the Rabbitohs quickly found their feet and responded. They got a set restart and backed the Broncos up against their own goal line.
In disappointing fashion, the Rabbitohs attack fizzled out when Tavita Tatola was penalised for not playing the ball correctly. In the next set, the Broncos got the ball to Selwyn Cobbo who made a break down the right, turning Josh Mansour inside out with silky footwork. He looked to have setup Albert Kelly for a runaway try but the inside pass was ruled to be forward.
Not long after that close call, Cobbo was in the action again. Off the back of a penalty, the Broncos spread the ball to the right and Cobbo used some acrobatics to plant the ball down just inside the corner post. However, the bunker reviewed the try and found Cobbo’s foot had landed in-touch before he grounded the ball.
With the score still nil all, it took back and forth exchanges between the two sides to finally break the deadlock. With the Rabbitohs on the attack, Cody Walker attempted a cut-out pass, but Albert Kelly intercepted the ball. Kelly had a big head start on his chasers and raced away to score the first try in the contest.
With the deadlock broken, the Rabbitohs found extra incentive to up their anti in attack. They worked their way into good field position and went back to their trusty left-side attack. This time, Cody Walker linked up with Jaxson Paulo who setup Josh Mansour to crash over in the corner.
After fending off a late Rabbitohs surge, the Broncos made it to halftime clinging to a two-point lead.
HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 6 South Sydney 4Embed from Getty Images
With Payne Haas returning to the field after halftime, the Broncos found their go-forward much like the start of the first half. Off the back of some good metres, they put up attacking kicks close to the Rabbitohs line but were unable to cross for points.
Just as the Rabbitohs looked like they had wrestled back momentum, they turned over possession when Alex Johnston was pinged for failing to play the ball correctly. Off the back of the penalty, the Broncos caught the Rabbitohs short on the left as the ball went through the hands for Corey Oates to score his 99th NRL try.
Falling behind by six, the Rabbitohs attack looked to stutter as they searched for fluidity with their new combinations. They managed to force a line drop-out but their ill-discipline was their enemy again as the Rabbitohs knocked on early in the tackle count.
As both sides began to fatigue the error count began to rise with neither side able to maintain control of possession for long. Inside the final 10 minutes, the Broncos hit their straps. They threw everything they could at the Rabbitohs line to try and put the game away.
Late in the tackle count, the ball went through several sets of hands as the Broncos tried to produce a matching sealing play. In an unlikely turn of events, Kurt Capewell scooped up a poor pass and drilled a field goal from right in front to extend the Broncos lead to seven points.
With the lead now beyond a converted try, the Rabbitohs tried some desperation plays to keep the game alive but ultimately fell short. The Broncos holding on in a tight contest to cause an upset over last year’s grand finalists.
FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 11 South Sydney Rabbitohs 4
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), 2 pts – Kurt Capewell (Brisbane Broncos), 1 pt – Selwyn Cobbo (Brisbane Broncos)
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