Hunt secures Broncos' golden point win
An extra-time try to Ben Hunt ensured the Brisbane Broncos pulled off a miraculous 22-18 golden point victory over the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
WATCH: Hunt scores the match-winner
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WATCH: Roosters press conference
Match stats, scores, highlights
Locked up at 18-18 after 80 minutes, both Hunt and James Maloney traded six field goal attempts between each other before Hunt scored the winner in the dying stages of the first half of the golden-point period.
Hunt busted through the line from 30 metres out after evading a tackle by Maloney and raced away for a try next to the posts after fooling Roger Tuivasa-Sheck with a dummy in the process.
Brisbane's win was their fifth-straight and sends them briefly to the top of the Telstra Premiership ladder.
It was a fitting end to the contest between the top-four teams who threw everything at each other over the course of the 80 minutes in a contest that fully lived up to the pre-match billing.
"[Ben] didn’t lose confidence, thank god. When he kicked the ball out on the full that was pretty vital but he kept at it and obviously he ran the ball which is what he does best," Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said after the game.
"We got under some pressure here tonight and we didn’t lose our composure. We stayed in the contest and in the arm wrestle.
"We stayed at it and didn’t let them get 12 or 18 points in front of us and the best they got was the six [points in front] and we kept ourselves in the game."
The Roosters led 12-10 at half-time after a bruising opening forty played at a frenetic pace with no love lost between both sides.
Sam Thaiday and Jared Waerea-Hargreaves seemed to enjoy their running battle throughout the night with several all-in melees resulting from the two starting props standing toe-to-toe against each other.
The Broncos scored first points in the second stanza after receiving a penalty directly in front seven minutes in to lock the score up at 12-12.
The turning point for the Roosters came in the 54th minute when Hunt kicked the ball dead resulting in a seven-tackle set and the Broncos didn’t see the ball again for another five minutes with the visitors forcing back-to-back line dropouts.
Pressure on Brisbane's line eventually took its toll when Maloney got on the outside of Hunt and scooted over the line to take his side out to an 18-12 lead.
A Roosters mistake allowed Brisbane to go on the attack again and they were unfortunate not to score their second try through Kodi Nikorima who had his four-pointer overturned by the video referee after the 21-year-old bobbled the ball over the line under pressure from Jake Friend.
The Broncos enjoyed the majority of field possession in the next 10-minute period and their dominance finally turned to points when a Hunt short ball sent Alex Glenn over the chalk.
Corey Parker nailed the conversion 10 metres in from the sideline to level the score once again at 18-18.
With less than 10 minutes left on the clock both sides jostled for field position in an effort to set up for a match-winning field goal.
Ben Hunt had the first attempt at the one-pointer with three minutes left on the clock but his shanked effort barely left the ground.
A bust by Anthony Milford allowed the Broncos another shot at a field goal but once again Hunt couldn’t direct his shot on target and the ball trickled dead to allow the Roosters a seven-tackle set.
The Roosters then lumbered the ball up to set Maloney up for a field goal opportunity and his effort amazingly hit the crossbar off the fingers of fullback Lachlan Maranta with the ball rebounding back to the Chooks however a turnover was awarded to the Broncos.
That would be the last action of the 80 minutes as the teams went into golden point locked at 18-18.
Brisbane received the ball first in extra time and could only manage 40 metres in their set which allowed the Roosters back into the one-point zone.
Maloney had another dig at a field goal but his effort fell short after his effort clipped the fingers of Andrew McCullough.
Brisbane's next set ended poorly with Hunt kicking the ball out on the full to allow the Roosters to begin their set 10 metres shy of the halfway line.
Maloney had another shot at the winning goal but his effort went dead to allow Brisbane seven tackles.
In the next set Hunt broke through a tackle by Maloney and threw a dummy to fool Roger Tuivasa-Sheck allowing the halfback to race over the line for a golden try and seal what was a dramatic game of football between two sides likely to see action come September.
The Roosters opened their account in only their second set of the night after Brisbane conceded an early penalty due to Milford being in front of the kicker.
Running the ball on the last, the visitors targeted Brisbane's left edge with Pearce finding Tuivasa-Sheck who brushed off a feeble defensive effort from Milford that enabled the Warriors-bound fullback the chance to dish off to Shaun Kenny-Dowall for the opening try after three minutes.
The Broncos responded five minutes later on the back of a play-the-ball penalty with Hunt taking on the line in the next set and fooling the Roosters defence with a clever dummy to score next to the posts. Parker added the extras to lock the score up at 6-6.
Brisbane snuck in front 8-6 after 13 minutes when they were awarded a penalty due to high contact on Alex Glenn by Sam Moa with Parker slotting the two points.
Tempers started to fray in the minutes that followed with Thaiday and Waerea-Hargreaves engaged in a running battle with each other that resulted in several all-in push-and-shove melees.
Ill-discipline dogged both sides during the opening half with five penalties awarded to both sides and the points flowed as a result.
The Broncos were first to take advantage by adding another two points after Matt Gillett was caught high while the Roosters scored their second try through Boyd Cordner off the back of a chicken wing tackle by Jarrod Wallace who had only been on the field less than five minutes as a replacement for Thaiday.
The remainder of a frenetic first half ticked away without any change to the scoreboard with the Roosters leading 12-10.
Brisbane Broncos 22 (Ben Hunt 2, Alex Glenn tries; Corey Parker 5 goals) defeated Sydney Roosters 18 (Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Boyd Cordner, James Maloney tries; James Maloney 3 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Half-time: Roosters 12-10. Crowd: 35,630. On Report: Sam Moa (Roosters), Jarrod Wallace (Broncos).