Gillett's charge down no fluke
Brisbane Broncos second-rower Matt Gillett has revealed his match-winning charge down on Friday night was something he had practised at training leading into his side's match-up with the Gold Coast Titans.
It was a play that took everyone by shock, except Gillett.
With the Titans leading 22-20 in the 78th minute, Gold Coast five-eighth Kane Elgey looked to kick from just inside his own 40-metre line, aiming to put the ball deep into Broncos territory.
Gillett rushed up out of the defensive line and at full stretch charged the kick down, with the ball bouncing up into his hands.
A quick-thinking Gillett then handed off to centre James Roberts who ran to the corner to score and give Brisbane a 24-22 victory.
It was Roberts's third try of the night, but one that Gillett should deservedly get half the credit for, with his act of brilliance changing the game in an instant.
Speaking to media after the win, Gillett said he had been practising putting pressure on the kickers that week at training, running through different scenarios that would require either a tackle or a charge down.
"I always practise putting pressure on the kickers. The circumstances of the game meant I needed to make that play and it paid off," Gillett said.
"I just thought it was the right time to go for a charge down. Obviously if we're in front I'll make the tackle on the kicker and take him to ground.
"I did my best to get to the ball and it came off.
"I had a good look around and James Roberts was there on my right. I thought he was outstanding tonight so what a way it was to finish the game off for him."
Putting pressure on opposition kickers is a skill that comes down to effort and commitment, with only the hardest workers putting in the extra work to try and create something from nothing.
An exhausted Gillett had already made 40 tackles, but he went the extra mile because he knew what was needed to get his side over the line.
But Gillett didn't want praise, instead shifting the focus to hooker Andrew McCullough who made 52 tackles – taking his season average to 55 tackles per game.
Gillett said McCullough's extra efforts often go unnoticed and that he would normally be the one to pull off a 'one percenter' that changes the match.
"Charge downs and extra efforts like that are skills that are underrated in the game," he said.
"Those 'one percenters' are something that Andrew McCullough always does for us.
"If you put pressure on the kicker then anything can happen and it went our way tonight."
The win lifts the Broncos to fifth on the ladder and leaves coach Wayne Bennett a happy man after back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
In fact, Bennett was so pleased with Gillett's performance that he congratulated him in the dressing sheds after the match.
"I gave Matt a wrap in the rooms after the game," Bennett said.
"He turned the heat up at about the 20-minute mark with his defence and all the players bought into it.
"From that point on I thought we dominated defensively for the rest of the game."