2023 NRL Round 21: Broncos 36, Rabbitohs 20

A dominant second half has seen the Broncos claim a comfortable victory over the Rabbitohs.


Brisbane Broncos 36
Tries: Kotoni Staggs 2 (9, 61), Selwyn Cobbo (23), Reece Walsh (50), Xavier Willison (57), Adam Reynolds (74)
Goals: Adam Reynolds 6 (11, 24, 51, 58, 62, 75)

South Sydney Rabbitohs 20
Tries: Alex Johnston (5), Campbell Graham (40), Isaiah Tass (68)
Goals: Blake Taaffe 4 (6, 13, 40, 69)

Embed from Getty Images


The Brisbane Broncos have overcome two sin bins and a Reece Walsh virus to claim an important 36-20 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at a sold-out Sunshine Coast Stadium.

It was a chaotic, end-to-end game, with both sides willing to use the ball, however a constant run of errors, penalties, and set restarts created a very stop-start match.

In the end, it was the Broncos who improved their discipline enough to claim the victory, largely off the back of a second-half blitz that left the returning Walsh vomiting on the edge of the field.

Brisbane came close to opening the scoring in the fourth minute through Kotoni Staggs, only for Cody Walker to cut him down just short of the try line.

A penalty put Souths on the attack shortly after, shifting to Alex Johnston for the opener, moving him to the outright third-greatest try scorer in premiership history. Blake Taaffe converted to take the score to 6-0.

An error by Tom Burgess immediately after put the Broncos straight back on the attack, where their ability to keep the ball alive led to Staggs’ scoring. Adam Reynolds converted to lock the scores.

From the kick-off, a crazy run by Martin Taupau that saw him lift his knees into Campbell Graham’s chest resulted in a penalty and sin binning. Taaffe put the Rabbitohs back ahead with the penalty goal.

The Rabbitohs enjoyed the best of the field position with the one-man advantage, however the Broncos defense turned them away at every turn.

They were immediately rewarded for that defence when Taupau returned, with Walsh throwing a glorious cut out pass for Selwyn Cobbo to score out wide. Reynolds’ conversion put him ahead of Andrew Johns into fifth all-time leading point scorer.

The Rabbitohs enjoyed another long run of possession late in the half, finally being rewarded when Graham strolled through on the siren. Taaffe converted to give them a 14-12 lead at the break.

Walsh started the second half with a huge breakthrough through the middle, racing for the corner, only for Johnston to come up with the trysaver.

He couldn’t be stopped from getting a similar opportunity seven minutes later, tricking and speeding past Walker to score right in front of the goal.

The Broncos extended the lead in the 58th minute when Xavier Willison stormed onto a short ball to touch down next to the posts.

They made it three tries in eleven minutes when Reynolds swung the play from left to right, eventually linking with Staggs to complete his double. Reynolds converted again to push the lead to 30-14.

Brisbane suffered a double blow with ten minutes remaining, losing Ezra Mam to a hamstring injury, before Jesse Arthars was sin binned for a high tackle on Taaffe.

The Rabbitohs immediately capitalized, shifting left for Isaiah Tass to keep the Rabbitohs in the contest.

Reynolds was the one who ultimately sealed the fate of his former team. He teamed up with Walsh and Staggs to make another important move forward, and then positioned himself perfectly to score a try right under the goalposts.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Reece Walsh (Broncos)
2 – Adam Reynolds (Broncos)
1 – Kotoni Staggs (Broncos)

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