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2022 NRL Round 7, Broncos 34 Bulldogs 14 – Report

Matt Attard reviews the Friday night clash between Brisbane and Canterbury-Bankstown …

MATCHDAY RESULTS

SCOREBOARD

Brisbane Broncos 34
Tries: Selwyn Cobbo 2 (66, 73), Corey Oates (34), Cory Paix (55), Adam Reynolds (61), Rhys Kennedy (76)
Goals: Adam Reynolds 5 (35, 57, 62, 75, 76)

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14
Tries: Josh Addo-Carr 2 (17, 29), Matt Dufty (44)
Goals: Kyle Flanagan (18)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

It took the Brisbane Broncos an hour to click into gear and run riot over a promising yet disappointing Bulldogs outfit at Suncorp Stadium, with Adam Reynolds leading the charge for his side as they scored five second half tries to sink their opponents.

A bumper crowd was on hand for this Anzac Round clash between two of last year’s battlers – and a battle it was for the Bulldogs pre-game who were missing 14 players through injury and COVID-19. They have also lost their past nine games at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane welcomed back Payne Haas while the Bulldogs needed exemptions to debut NSW Cup players Jacob Kiraz and Billy Tsikrikas.

It took the Bulldogs four mins and 38 seconds to touch the ball for the first time; their goal-line defence holding strong in an opening stanza dominated by Brisbane.

Unfortunately the home side were rocked by an early AC joint injury to star prop Payne Haas while Josh Addo-Carr copped a finger in the eye. Haas left the field but would return later.

Paul Vaughan was held up in the first real chance for the visitors before Addo-Carr almost latched onto a Matt Burton grubber. They may have built pressure well but Trent Barrett would have been disappointed with their execution after several sets peppering Brisbane’s line.

Points would finally come in the 19th minute, thanks to a superb offload from Aaron Schoupp to Josh Addo-Carr. Kyle Flanagan’s sideline conversion was on point for a 6-0 lead.

Back-and-forth sets were traded as errors crept into the game. It was the Broncos with the next big chance, but the Blue-and-White’s goal-line defence continued to stand tall.

Down the other end Addo-Carr helped himself to a double thanks to a beautiful cut-out ball from Burton. Flanagan missed the conversion.

Two poor errors from Jayden Okunbor handed Brisbane field position as they hit back thanks to Corey Oates five minutes from half-time. Adam Reynolds converted to close the gap to four at the break.

Called into the squad from outside the top 30, 20-year-old Kiraz was proving a huge find as his powerful runs terrorised Brisbane’s defence, running for 75 metres, busting three tackles, and offloading three times.

HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 6 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 10

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2nd Half

Brisbane got off to a flying start with some big kick returns, but it was a Tevita Pangai Junior intercept that led to the next points.

He raced down field and from the ensuing set another offload from the former Bronco saw Matt Dufty dance his way over the line. Burton took over the conversions but sprayed it wide.

Canterbury continued to dominate as they searched for more points, however Kiraz was taken from the field 55 minutes into his debut with severe cramp.

As the match went on, luck was smiling on the home side with several key bounces of the ball going their way, leading to several set restarts and a try to hooker Cory Paix. Reynolds converted and the gap was narrowed to two points.

With 20 minutes to play the Broncos exploded with ball in hand – a huge momentum shift clearly rocking the visitors. It could have been Brisbane taking the lead if not for a stray pass that went over the sideline.

The Bulldogs’ usual last period shutdown seemed to be in affect as a chip-and-chase from Reynolds paid dividends as he touched down under the posts. The conversion saw the home side take an 18-14 lead.

Canterbury would lament their complacency and lack of resolve as Brisbane scored their third try in a row, this time through Selwyn Cobbo. Reynolds failed to convert but they were still well on top.

It was a tale of Jekyll and Hyde, the Broncos suddenly in red hot form and the Bulldogs reverting to their wooden spoon one-out antics that gave them no hope of a comeback.

Cobbo miraculously latched onto a grubber that was destined for the dead-ball line and grounded it for Brisbane’s fourth try on the trot. Reynold’s sideline conversion made it 28-14.

The icing on the cake was still to come as a Kotoni Staggs offload led to a Cobbo infield kick which found Rhys Kennedy for yet another try to the home side.

FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 34 Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 14

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 pts – Adam Reynolds (Broncos), 2 pts – Payne Haas (Broncos), 1 pt – Selwyn Cobbo (Broncos)

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