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2022 NRL Round 19, Eels 14 Broncos 36 – Report

Shannon Meyer reviews a great win for the Broncos at a wet CommBank Stadium.

MATCHDAY RESULTS

SCOREBOARD

Parramatta Eels 14
Tries: Maika Sivo 2 (4, 52) Waqa Blake (37)
Goals: Mitchell Moses (38)

Brisbane Broncos 36
Tries: Corey Oates 2 (10, 41) Payne Haas (19) Jordan Riki (22) Kurt Capewell (32) Adam Reynolds (69)
Goals: Adam Reynolds 6 (12, 21, 24, 34, 42, 71)

MATCH REPORT

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The Brisbane Broncos temporarily moved into the top four after a 36-14 win over fellow finals aspirant Parramatta in an entertaining clash at Commbank Stadium.

The first part of the game was played almost exclusively in the Broncos’ half following multiple errors in early sets; Parramatta made them pay in the fourth minute when Maika Sivo finished off a second tackle move and scored in the corner with ease. Mitchell Moses missed the conversion to keep the lead at 4-0. By now it was really raining at Commbank Stadium, which should suit an Eel over a Bronco you’d think.

Brisbane, perhaps inspired by this year’s Football World Cup, produced a try from the round ball game to take the lead 6-4. Brenko Lee’s initial kick was charged down, and from there they went 30 metres without picking up the ball as Lee produced a nice side-footed pass to Corey Oates, who soccered ahead for himself and slickly picked the ball up just before the try-line to score.

The next Broncos try in the 20th minute was much more standard, well apart from the one-on-one steal from Adam Reynolds that started the set. Payne Haas simply got the ball close to the line courtesy of a Patrick Carrigan flick offload, and the Broncos prop charged his way through the Eels’ defence to score. The easy conversion for Reynolds made it 12-4.

A few minutes later and the Broncos were 18-4 in front after Reynolds found space in the Eels’ in-goal with the perfect grubber, and Jordan Riki was quickest onto the ball to score.

The Broncos’ night got even better with 10 minute until half time, as Will Penisini was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul following a line break up the middle by Tesi Niu. Within the next set the Broncos went further in front, this time through Kurt Capewell. The try was set up with some sparkling skill from Ezra Mam. The Eels were down 22-4 with another eight minutes to play with a player down, and were lucky the Broncos had previously blown some good chances to score more.

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Parramatta defied the sin bin to score just before half-time through Waqa Blake. It was a nice wrap-around from Reed Mahoney which somehow set up a three-player advantage on the left for the Eels despite having one less player. Parramatta were gifted the ball after a mistake from Jordan Pereira. The conversion made it 24-10 which remained until half-time.

The second half couldn’t have started much worse for Parramatta, as a lack of communication saw two Eels players run into each other in an attempt to catch the ball from the kick-off; the knock-on gave the Broncos good possession with an extra player. They took advantage that set, with Oates scoring his second of the night after a pinpoint cross-field kick from Reynolds, who also converted to make it 30-10.

With a full 13 players and fresh substitutions, Parramatta enjoyed their best period for a long time with multiple attacking raids, and turned that into points in the 52nd minute as Sivo finished off a move in the corner after a nice cut-out pass from Dylan Brown. Moses missed the conversion and the score remained 30-14.

Parramatta dominated for a long time after the try, but wasted quite a few opportunities to reduce the gap: some through their own lack of polish late in the set, some through great Broncos defence, and another one of those Bunker decisions that people try to justify as technically correct but makes less sense to the average league fan. The Bunker really is the ultimate killjoy in rugby league.

The Broncos were rewarded for the tenacity in stopping Parramatta’s 20 minutes of dominance as the Eels were equally punished for their wastefulness. A big tackle on the kick return of Clint Gutherson by Kotoni Staggs saw the ball dislodged, and as ever Reynolds was the man in the right place at the right time to score. His conversion made the score a safe 36-14.

For the Broncos it was another hard earned victory for a side that has transformed themselves from white flag waving easybeats to a tenacious side that competes every game. Having Reynolds’ experience and polish helps too. Parramatta will rue not making more of a game of it in the second half when they were well on top

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 pts – Adam Reynolds (Broncos), 2 pts – Payne Haas (Broncos), 1 pt – Ezra Mam (Broncos)

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