The Broncos have fought for an impressive 16-7 win over the fourth-placed Sharks with Kotoni Staggs comfortably outpointing rival Siosifa Talakai.
Brisbane made a statement with their defence and gave the Sharks wrecking ball no time or space, with Adam Reynolds and Te Maire Martin astutely guiding the side around.
Things took a while to get going as both sides made errors on the attack in the opening quarter, before a lovely piece of backyard footy from Matt Moylan opened the scoring in the 21st minute.
Noticing fullback Martin had already committed earlier in the play, Moylan dropped the ball on the toe and won the race to his own kick to put the Sharks up 6-0.
Farnworth crosses to take the lead
The enthralling battle between Kotoni Staggs and Siosifa Talakai went up a notch in the 37th minute as the Broncos centre sold his fellow Blues Origin hopeful a huge dummy then fended away Ronaldo Mulitalo to make it 6-all.
Nicho Hynes coolly snapped a long-range field goal on the stroke of half time to put the visitors up by a point at the break.
The Broncos came out of the sheds firing though and added two tries in eight minutes after the break. Both came via some wonderful long left-to-right-to-left ball movement that separated the Sharks' defence and resulted in tries to Herbie Farnworth and Kurt Capewell to move to 16-7 ahead.
That ended up being the final score as Brisbane failed to put the finishing touches on a few more attacking chances but defended their own line ferociously when asked to in closing out a well-earned win.
Match: Broncos v Sharks
Round 8 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
- The highly anticipated battle between two possible rivals for a NSW Origin centre berth, Siosifa Talakai and Kotoni Staggs, did not disappoint. It was the Bronco with a knockout win in their personal duel though, totally shutting down the Sharks wrecking ball with his in-your-face defence and scoring a try of his own to be arguably best on ground.
- The much-improved Nicho Hynes continues to come up with big plays for the Sharks and develop as a halfback but was harrassed into an unhappy second half with a number of errors as the Broncos ran the Sharks ragged.
- Te Maire Martin's comeback is a real feel-good story but the quality of his football has completely belied his three-year lay-off with some quality touches and intelligent game awareness making a big difference to Brisbane. He will stake a huge claim for the N0.6 jersey once Tesi Niu returns.
Capewell does it all himself
- Tom Flegler had the best game of his suspension-interrupted season, pulling the Sharks defence apart with some late offloads, one of which helped create Kurt Capewell's try.
- Adam Reynolds was forced off for a HIA in the 33rd minute after a stray elbow split the bridge of his nose open but was able to return after half time and put in another polished effort in a Brisbane win.
- Payne Haas looked troubled by the shoulder injury he picked up last week; he battled through to half time then played 14 minutes of the second but did not return after that 54-minute stint.
- Cameron McInnes was placed on report for a crusher tackle.
Play of the game
Trailing 6-0 not long before half-time, Te Maire Martin injected himself into a nice right-side move and fed a perfect ball to Staggs, who got rid of Talakai with a huge dummy then fended off Ronaldo Mulitalo to score in the corner. The slickness of the try make it a highlight reel moment but the spark it gave the Broncos to go on and win made it the play of the game.
Staggs scores a stunner
What they said
"It was a bit of a flat performance from us. The first half was a good half ... I don't know if we lost a bit of confidence with the (Staggs) try on half time but obviously the start to the second half was poor (and we were) lacklustre in the second half." - Sharks coach Craig Fitzgibbon
Sharks: Round 8
"That's the big one is the defence from the guys. Cronulla have been scoring a lot of points this year so for us to defend the way we did shows the unity we're building." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos: Round 8
The Broncos have another Thursday night game in round nine but this time travel to Sydney to face the Rabbitohs - the first time Adam Reynolds will meet his former club after missing the round one clash.
The Sharks have a huge 10-day turnaround into next Sunday's 4pm home game against the Warriors, with skipper Wade Graham likely to be better for the run and lock Dale Finucane a big chance to return.