Last Time Played: Broncos v Sharks
Brisbane defeated Cronulla 46-16 at Suncorp Stadium in a Friday night rout in Round 21 last year.
The Broncos ran riot in the opening stages, leading 16-nil after just 15 minutes. They crossed for six tries to take a 34-6 advantage to the break, with the Sharks – who were missing skipper Paul Gallen from their line-up with a calf injury – only getting on the scoreboard when Chad Townsend crossed on the stroke of halftime.
The visitors were first to score in the second half before Justin Hodges extended the Broncos’ advantage with his third try of the afternoon midway through the second 40. Late tries to Brisbane’s Peter Wallace and Cronulla’s Jeremy Smith rounded out the scoring.
Cronulla simply had no answer to a glut of Brisbane possession, with the home side enjoying 10 more sets of six tackles. Consequently they broke open the Sharks at will, registering a massive 11 line-breaks (to Cronulla’s three) and a whopping 598-metre running advantage.
It could have been a lot worse had the Sharks not respected the ball when they had it, completing their sets at 84 per cent.
Justin Hodges did most of the damage out wide for the Broncos, with three line busts and a staggering 13 tackle-breaks, while Sam Thaiday made a game-high 20 runs.
Sharks fullback Nathan Gardner tried hard to add thrust for his team (102 metres and six tackle-breaks).