Rhys Sullivan reviews the last game of Round 2- and boy what a thriller it was
Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 10
Tries: Braidon Burns (12), Jeremy Marshall-King (48)
Goals: Matt Burton (49)
Brisbane Broncos 16
Tries: Corey Oates (17), Herbie Farnworth 2 (52, 65)
Goals: Adam Reynolds 2 (53, 66)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The first 10 minutes were dominated by the blue and whites- penalties and errors gave the Bulldogs great field position. After a pair of Jack Hetherington errors relieved pressure, the Broncos finally cracked in the 12th minute with Braidon Burns crossing the stripe. But Brisbane hit back just five minutes later, with a genius Albert Kelly chip-cum-banana kick sending Corey Oates over the stripe, bringing up the 100th try of his career.
Another Broncos error gave Canterbury excellent field position, and Matt Burton almost crossed, but desperate defence by Kotoni Staggs held him up. Burton’s kicking game continued to terrorise Brisbane’s backline but scoring opportunities wouldn’t come easily. So, when the Dogs got a penalty 20 out from the Broncos line, it was no surprise that they took the shot at goal- but Burton pulled his shot to the right, leaving the game deadlocked. Off the ensuing 20 metre drop out, Canterbury again pressed, but a Brent Naden error denied what would have been a very slick try. Brisbane made their sixth error of the half in the 35th minute, and somehow, they were still able to go into halftime with the game tied.
HALF-TIME: Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 4 Brisbane Broncos 4Embed from Getty Images
The second half started tentatively, with neither side gaining an advantage until Burns found his way into space. Jeremy Marshall-King crashed over from dummy half in the ensuing set, giving the Bulldogs a 6-point lead. Just minutes later, however, Herbie Farnworth managed to strip the ball from Burns and raced away to score, with Adam Reynolds’ conversion squaring the game once again. After a penalty and a Farnworth line break gave Brisbane rare field position, a ridiculous Reynolds through-the-legs pass put Staggs in space-but the centre dropped the ball over the line.
A Jake Averillo error set up a Brisbane scrumbase play, with Kelly creating space that resulted in Farnworth outsprinting Jayden Okunbor to the try line for his second try. The ensuing Reynolds conversion gave the veteran halfback his 1,900th point in first grade. Back-to-back penalties gave the Bulldogs their first attacking opportunity since JMK’s try- but Tesi Niu managed to get to a Matt Dufty kick before a flying Josh Addo-Carr could. The Bulldogs continued to press the line as the game hit its last 5 minutes, but Brisbane repelled back to back sets on their goal line. A near-40/20 meant the Bulldogs had to go 90 metres in their last set to try and tie the contest, and they very nearly did- but Addo-Carr’s last gasp crossfield kick was scooped up by Kelly, securing Brisbane’s 2-0 start to begin 2022.
FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 16 Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs 10
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Herbie Farnworth (Brisbane Broncos), 2 pts – Payne Haas (Brisbane Broncos), 1 pt – Matt Burton (Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs)
Follow Nothing But League on Facebook.