Warriors v Broncos: Five key points
The Broncos held on to beat the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium. Here are five key points from the gritty victory in Auckland.
Broncos defence building after rough start
After leaking 36 points in their opening round clash against the Rabbitohs the Broncos have shown they can rely on their defence to get them results.
After surviving a relentless attacking onslaught from the Warriors in the second 40, coach Wayne Bennett praised his side's efforts off the ball.
"To these guys' credit our defence is pretty good right now, they [the Warriors] got two tries off bombs and we denied them on a number of occasions which turned out to be the difference in the game," the veteran mentor said.
"They just got in the groove, they completed set after set [in the second half].
"We were working really hard defensively."
The efforts continued right down to the final minutes when fullback Jordan Kahu put on a textbook legs tackle to deny the powerful Solomone Kata a potentially match-winning try.
'Milf' getting hotter
After a rough start to his Broncos career, which had many calling for him to shift from the halves to fullback, Anthony Milford had a strong showing in the No.6 jersey at Mt Smart Stadium.
A try assist and 115 running metres was enough to please coach Bennett and remind fans what the talented Queenslander is capable of.
"Milford got better as the game went on today and in the end he was pretty crucial in the last 10 minutes there," Bennett said.
"At a new club he is feeling his way and I am pleased with him."
Warriors' attack goes missing for 40 minutes… again
So far this year the Warriors have had a half of football where they failed to score more than one try in all four of their matches.
In round one they went scoreless in the second 40, against the Raiders in round two they got over the line only once in the first half, last week crossed once in the second period and this week were shut out by the Broncos in the opening stanza.
Coach Andrew McFadden said his team simply got into a rut through lack of possession in the opening half.
"That happens in a game. I thought we started well and were certainly very physical," he said.
"We put the ball in goal and it looked like we were going to get a repeat set, it was overturned and then we didn't touch the ball for 10 minutes.
"You have got to be prepared to work your way out of that."
Injury toll starting to show for Warriors
With the Telstra Premiership's worst injury toll to start the year, the Warriors have done well to limp through with a host of inexperienced players.
But against the Broncos it showed, especially with the game on the line in the final exchanges.
Without pivotal attacking weapons Sam Tomkins, Konrad Hurrell and Ngani Laumape the Warriors lacked the composure to put Brisbane away.
"We had our opportunities to win the game, we just didn't take them," McFadden said.
"I think as a team we just lacked that composure in the end. Our young kids are doing a great job, we have plenty of them in the side at the moment but we got beat by a pretty good and experienced side today."
The Warriors finished the day with a horror error count of 19, with 25 missed tackles.
Brisbane back-row sets the platform
Expectations will always be high for the Brisbane back-row given their starting three is made up entirely of international and State of Origin players.
And on Sunday they delivered, with Corey Parker, Matt Gillett and Alex Glenn all running for over 100 metres.
Much of the damage with ball in hand was inflicted in the first 40, while in the second period Gillett stood up defensively, finishing the match with a team-high 42 tackles.
Speaking post-match Parker said the gritty showing was pleasing.
"In the first half I thought we rolled out of our end quite nicely," he said.
"The second half was a bit different, we were under the pump a bit more.
"We lost Blairy (Adam Blair) in the second half there which didn't help."