NYC Broncos grind out important win
It wasn't always pretty, but the Brisbane Broncos leapfrogged the Roosters on the Holden Cup ladder courtesy of a scrappy 22-14 win over the Tricolours at Allianz Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Sydneysiders were treated to sparkling blue skies when they woke up on Saturday morning, but the rugby league gods played a cruel joke on fans with dark clouds and persistent rain putting a dampener on the Holden Cup curtain-raiser.
Poor handling and ill-discipline marred the early exchanges with the Broncos eventually opening the scoring in the 10th minute through left winger David Fauid.
The Roosters quickly gained control of the contest and hit the lead in the 23rd minute when Sean O'Sullivan grubbered through for halves partner Lachlan Lam to score under the posts.
It didn't take long for the visitors to hit back as Kotoni Staggs took advantage of a perfectly-timed out ball to dive over in the right corner before Brent Woolf grounded a loose ball in the in-goal to give the Broncos a 14-6 lead.
Anthony Barnes's half-time message must have done the trick because it took just six minutes for the Tricolours to narrow the gap as Jesse Marschke fought his way through several would-be defenders to kick-start their second-half comeback.
The Roosters continued to apply pressure with four consecutive sets on the Broncos' line, but their inability to convert chances into points came back to bite them when Corey Allan collected a grubber to give the visitors a 20-10 advantage.
That's how the score remained until Lyndon Hills latched onto a superb Nat Butcher offload to touch down out wide to cut the gap to six points with 18 minutes remaining.
The hosts looked to have drawn level in the 71st minute when O'Sullivan waltzed through to score next to the posts, but referee Tim Roby called the play back for an obstruction before Staggs slotted a simple penalty to put the result beyond doubt.
Broncos 22 (David Fauid, Kotoni Staggs, Brent Woolf, Corey Allan tries; Kotoni Staggs 2, Tyson Smoothy 1 goals) def. Roosters 14 (Lachlan Lam, Jesse Marschke, Lyndon Hills tries; Sean O'Sullivan 1 goal) at Allianz Stadium. Half-time: 14-6