Roosters v Broncos: Five key points
The Roosters moved into the Telstra Premiership top four thanks to an 18-16 win over a Broncos side that almost snatched victory from the jaws of defeat courtesy of two late tries.
Roosters hang on
Roosters fans could have been excused for planning their post-game celebrations with seven minutes left on the clock and their side in front by 12 points.
But back-to-back tries to Corey Oates and Tautau Moga slashed the margin to just two points and gave Jordan Kahu the chance to level the scores, only for the Broncos winger to hook his sideline conversion.
It was a finish few saw coming after the Roosters defended their line so resolutely for the majority of the game and it's an area coach Trent Robinson will want to address in the coming days.
"Getting out to the 18-6 lead and then letting the two tries in was disappointing," Robinson said.
"I felt like the boys were moving well all game so I was happy with our line and it proved to be good enough in the end."
Origin players back up in style
Wednesday's brutal State of Origin series opener saw Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Milford miss out on the Allianz Stadium classic, but that didn't stop nine other players from backing up on Saturday night and doing their clubs proud.
Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner played a starring role with a try in each half while Broncos lock Josh McGuire put in another stellar display in the middle of the field with 165 metres and 29 tackles.
"I was really happy with the quality of the game. I think both coaches would have been happy with how both teams went about the game," Robinson said.
"With quite a few players backing up, it didn't look as though any of the players were backing up."
Broncos skipper Darius Boyd added: "I'm feeling alright. We'll have a few days off and then play the Rabbitohs next week."
Benji winds back the clock
Benji Marshall showed he can still be a force in the NRL after the veteran scored a try and played a key role in another in what was his best game in Broncos colours.
The veteran half showed signs of class during last week's loss to the Warriors and backed up that effort with another stellar performance in greasy conditions.
"I thought he had a pretty good game actually. I thought he was pretty good," Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said.
"I thought he was good, he was running the ball and doing things we probably haven't seen him do for a while."
No half-measures for undermanned Roosters
The loss of star halfback Mitchell Pearce (concussion) was meant to be tempered by the steadying hand of Mitch Cornish coming into the side, but the Roosters were dealt a blow on the eve of the game with the young playmaker ruled out after he sustained an injury at the captain's run.
It was the sort of setback that could have thrown their preparations into disarray, but dynamic utility Connor Watson slotted into the halves and stuck to the task at hand to guide his side to victory.
"That's why it's such a good period; it tests the depth of your group but also the adaptability of your group," Robinson said.
"That's what they had to do on game day so that's a credit to them. They just went about their task really well and confidently. That's a good win for us especially after coming out of the rep rounds."
Crucial month coming up for the Broncos
It's the time of the year when the Broncos often falter, but Brisbane must find a way to turn things around in the coming weeks if they want to keep in touch with the all-important top four.
The Broncos have lost two matches in a row but should return to winning ways against the Bunnies at home next Friday night before they can rest up courtesy of a bye.
The two games following the week off loom large on the radar with the Broncos set to travel to Canberra before they host the Storm. Wayne Bennett's men are already two points outside the top four and can't afford to slip further behind heading into the pointy end of the season.
They missed out on the double chance in week one of the finals last year despite sitting in fourth spot after 13 rounds so it's imperative they keep winning during the Origin period to stay in touch with fringe top-four sides like the Roosters and Dragons.