2023 NRL Round 22: Broncos 32, Roosters 10

The Brisbane Broncos continued their good form after defying the recent trend against the Roosters with a dominant 32-10 win at the Gabba on Thursday night.


Brisbane Broncos 32
Tries: (5) Ezra Mam 14th, 77th; Herbie Farnworth 5th, Patrick Carrigan 35th, Kotoni Staggs 67th
Goals: (6) Adam Reynolds 5th, 15th, 25th, 36th, 68th, 79th

Roosters 10
Tries: (2) Billy Smith 65th; Daniel Tupou 70th
Goals: (1) Sandon Smith 71st

Embed from Getty Images


Brisbane returned to the Gabba for this clash, and both teams taped over the NRL logo. But the Broncos got on the scoreboard early after a sustained attack on the Roosters, where Herbie Farnworth crashed through the initial defence, crawled towards the line, and reached out to score. Adam Reynolds converted and the home side were ahead after just five minutes.

The following period saw both sides handing out some brutal defence and big hits; Egan Butcher was a victim to the impacts, leaving the field for a HIA and not returning. But ultimately it was the Roosters who took the biggest hit when Reece Walsh’s perfect grubber at the posts saw a diving Ezra Mam beat all to the ball and slide in to score. A bit of a shame for James Tedesco who produced a great try-saving tackle before each Broncos try.

The game got a little feisty after the second try with a few scuffles, one after a clash of the titans when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves got Payne Haas high. The Broncos took the extra two points from the penalty to lead 14-0 after 25 minutes, and the Roosters prop took a report for his troubles.

Tedesco almost got a just reward from his first half efforts on the half-hour mark when he crashed over, but the try was ruled out for interference. Brisbane then went on to punish them five minutes before half time when Pat Carrigan scored his first ever NRL try, crashing over close to the line off a fine ball from Adam Reynolds. The conversion was made, and the score was out to 20-0.

The second half was a bit of an arm wrestle for quite a while, with attacking chances for both sides fewer than in the first half. The Broncos were not helped when referee Grant Atkins denied Tyson Smoothy a certain try when he got in the way with a metre to go.

Eventually, with 15 minutes to go, a try was scored and it was the Roosters who crossed the line. A Daniel Tupou break set up the Roosters’ attack, which ended up with Billy Smith on the end of a Luke Keary cross-field kick. On the second tackle after the kick off the Roosters’ hooker Brandon Smith threw a loose pass and Kotoni Staggs was on hand to pick up the crumbs and charge the 10 metres required to score. Adam Reynolds slotted the conversion for a 26-4 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Some joy for the Roosters again not long after when Tupou broke the Roosters’ try scoring record, when he was on the end of a long-range cross field kick by Keary again. They kicked the conversion to give them a sniff of a comeback at 26-8 with nine minutes to play.

But no such comeback was forthcoming, and the Broncos even had time for one more try when a poor last tackle kick from the Roosters found Mam – who ran 80 metres untouched to seal the game for Brisbane.

It was a good win for the Broncos: not just the scoreline, but their defence was outstanding throughout most of the clash, with a real feel of that extra finals edge they will need in the business end of the season. The attack too was crisp, and they look a genuine threat to end Penrith’s dominance on post-Origin form.

For the Roosters the effort was there, but ill-discipline hurt them, handing way too many penalties to the Broncos, who punished them with efficiency in attack and gave them nothing in defence. They can still make the finals but would probably be just making up the numbers.

Embed from Getty Images


3 – Payne Haas (Broncos)
2 – Adam Reynolds (Broncos)
1 – Kotoni Staggs (Broncos)

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