Broncos thump disappointing Bulldogs
The Broncos have galloped back into finals contention with a 41-10 mauling of a disappointing Bulldogs side in front of over 28,000 at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
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Leading 20-6 at the break, Brisbane piled on three tries to one in the second half to propel them into ninth on the ladder with the 'Dogs dropping to sixth as a result of their fourth-straight loss.
The Bulldogs also look set to be without Josh Reynolds again after the five-eighth was put on report twice for kicking and tripping incidents, and eventually had his night cut short eight minutes from time after being sent to the sin-bin for repeated infringements.
The Broncos enjoyed 25 minutes of possession inside the Bulldogs' half during the first forty which helped lay the foundation for their 14-point lead half-time lead.
Canterbury's chances of a comeback weren't aided by their poor ball control and lack of discipline, with the visitors only completing 64 percent and conceding five penalties in the second half despite starting the second stanza in strong fashion.
The Bulldogs began to claw away at their half-time deficit in the 47th minute when Josh Jackson muscled his way over the try line after good lead-up run by Tim Lafai. The score remained at 20-10 after Trent Hodkinson couldn’t direct his conversion on target.
The 'Dogs steamrolled their way downfield in the next set to keep the pressure on the Broncos, but let the hosts off the hook when Reynolds kicked out at Sam Thaiday in the play-the-ball.
The incident released the pressure on the home side who had looked slightly shell-shocked by the aggressive Bulldogs approach during the opening exchanges of the second half.
Just as the Bulldogs appeared to be back in the contest, a lost ball close to their line resulted in another Broncos attacking opportunity. Matt Gillett drifted across the field in the next set to position himself for a ball to youngster Corey Oates, who strolled through a hole to cross for Brisbane's fifth try of the night. Parker converted to take his side out to a 26-10 lead with 22 minutes remaining.
Ill-discipline and errors kept creeping into Canterbury's game with the end result being a further two points to Brisbane's score as Parker landed a penalty taking the score to 28-10.
Andrew McCullough added further misery to the Bulldogs with a field goal 12 minutes from time.
Brisbane was unrelenting in their pursuit of victory and crossed the line again through Sam Thaiday with eight minutes to go to add even further gloss to their performance.
Hunt's conversion took the score out to 41-10, handing Brisbane a much-needed victory and a boost to their for-and-against in the process.
For the fifth-straight game Brisbane conceded the first try of the match after a cross-field kick led to a scramble for the ball, and a subsequent grubber kick behind Brisbane's line resulted in a scrappy try for Reynolds. Hodkinson's boot took the score to 6-0 in the 15th minute.
A string of penalties to the Broncos handed the home side some much needed field position and that pressure almost paid off as Josh McGuire appeared to have storm over the line for a try. The on-field referee awarded a try but replays revealed the Broncos prop had dropped the ball while attempting to ground it for a try.
Brisbane didn’t need to wait for long to make up for McGuire's butter fingers after Dale Copley crossed in the corner in the 25th minute. In an exquisite exchange of passes, Parker swivelled 360 degrees to dish a pass off to Gillett who in turn delivered an equally stunning and borderline-forward pass to Copley who snuck over in the corner. Parker's conversion was expertly drilled in between the posts to lock the scores up at 6-6.
Another lovely backline move by Brisbane led to Jack Reed putting Daniel Vidot over in the corner but there were doubts over whether the hulking winger grounded the ball and upon referral to the video referee, there was insufficient evidence to overturn the original try decision. The score remained at 10-6 after Parker's effort to add the extras was waved away.
With five minutes left until half-time an error by Bulldogs interchange forward Dale Finucane 10 metres out from the line gifted the Broncos a four-pointer from the resulting set.
Subdued in recent weeks, Hunt took the line on himself and darted over for Brisbane's third try. Hunt completed his solo effort with a successful conversion to take the score out to 16-6.
Brisbane received a penalty with 30 seconds left in the half and immediately went on the attack. Targeting the left side of the field, they spread the ball through their hands to eventually find Vidot who scooted down the wing and flicked the ball back on the inside for Reed before he hit the ground with the English centre then booting the ball back in the direction of Barba who collected the ball and snuck over in the corner for another remarkable try.
Hunt couldn’t land the conversion after the half-time siren keeping the scoreboard at 20-6 in favour of the Broncos.
Brisbane Broncos 41 (Ben Hunt 2, Dale Copley, Daniel Vidot, Ben Barba, Corey Oates, Sam Thaiday tries; Ben Hunt 1, Corey Parker 3 goals; Andrew McCullough field goal) def. Canterbury Bulldogs 10 (Josh Reynolds, Josh Jackson, tries; Trent Hodkinson 1 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Broncos 20-6. Crowd: 28,344.