Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
4 days ago
Brisbane Broncos 30 v Penrith Panthers 6
at Suncorp Stadium
Referees: Shayne Hayne
The Brisbane Broncos have out-gunned a disappointing Penrith Panthers outfit by 30-6 in front of a solid crowd of 25,133 at Suncorp Stadium.
In a game that promised to be an entertaining affair, the Panthers were more of a disorganised rabble, dropping balls, missing tackles and squandering possession throughout the contest. Adding to their frustrations were the injuries to Craig Gower (ribs) and Luke Lewis (leg). Lewis?s appears to be the more serious, forcing him from the field early in the second half capping a terrible day for the centre as he was earlier placed on report for a lifting tackle with second-rower Frank Prichard on Broncos forward Sam Thaiday.
The Broncos started the game well, capitalising on an early mistake from Rhys Wesser for the opening try of the game to Shaun Berrigan in the 4th minute with Corey Parker adding the extras from the sideline. Ten minutes later Tame Tupou continued his strong early season form with a good try from a set backline play involving Darren Lockyer and Karmichael Hunt.
For the rest of the half the scores remained unchanged with the exception of a penalty goal to the Broncos allowing them a 12-0 lead as they headed to the sheds and cut up the oranges. At this point anything was possible though with 12 points not hard to overcome these days. If the Panthers composed themselves and had a better share of the possession they could have staged a fight back.
But it wasn?t to be and Penrith continued on in a mistake-riddled second half effort, handing the game to Brisbane with little resistance. Further tries to Lockyer, a second for Tupou and a barnstorming effort from Civoniceva blew the score out to 30-6, with Pritchard crossing the stripe for the visitors in the 72nd minute offering little consolation.
Justin Hodges pressed his representative claims again, making several breaks and having a hand in a few tries. His form has been super so far this season and the Broncos are looking well placed after a somewhat sluggish beginning to the year. Things have certainly turned around for Penrith though, with their hot early season form fizzling out over the past three weeks.
Brisbane Broncos: 30
Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Darren Lockyer, Tame Tupou(2)
Goals: Corey Parker 5/6
Penrith Panthers: 6
Tries: Frank Pritchard
Goals: Preston Campbell 1/1
By the Clock:
Great day up here in Brisbane with both teams as per the program.
1 min: NEWS And we're underway in the first half with Penrith kicking off.
4 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
The Broncos open the scoring for the day with a try to centre Shaun Berrigan after some good ball movement out wide allows Berrigan enough room. Parker converts and the Broncos are off to a good start.
7 min: NEWS Good battle up front with the forwards exchanging some heavy contact in the early stages of the first half.
13 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Big Kiwi winger Tame Tupou finds his way to the line with a powerful burst. The Broncos are looking good early and have the weight of the possession so far. Parker misses the goal and the Broncos surge to the front.
18 min: PENALTY GOAL Brisbane Broncos
Brisbane take an easy two points on offer following a penalty for an infringement in the play the ball. Parker adds the points.
25 min: NEWS Heading into the back end of the first half and the Panthers are making plenty of mistakes. They've had a tough time getting their hands on the ball in the first place and they're falling off plenty of tackles too.
35 min: NEWS The game stalling a bit here with neither side making any real inroads to their opponents' half.
40 min: NEWS And we go to the break with the Broncos leading by 12-0. Penrith will need a much improved second half to threaten the Broncos here as they just don't seem to have the firepower at the moment. Brsibane on the other hand seem content to grind away against the Panthers.
41 min: NEWS And we're underway in the second half with a deep kick from the Broncos.
45 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Tupou gets his second try of the day shortly after the break. He continues to impress and could be wearing a New Zealand jersey soon. Parker converts and the Broncos have a strong hold on this one.
46 min: NEWS Luke Lweis for the Panthers has left the field with a serious leg injury. He won't play any futher part in the game. More details to follow.
55 min: NEWS The Broncos are still enjoying a heavy amount of possession and the Panthers look very much off their game. They have missed an enormous amount of tackles and are struggling to compete.
63 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Captain Darren Lockyer gets in on the action and scores a good try to help the Broncos push further ahead. They're in complete control of this match and look like winning comfortably. Parker converts again.
65 min: NEWS Panthers halfback Craig Gower has left the field with a rib injury, as things continue to fall apart for the visitors.
72 min: TRY Penrith Panthers
Penrith finally get on the board as powerful forward Frank Pritchard bursts across the stripe for a consolation try. Campbell adds the extras but it's a bridge too far for the Panthers.
78 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
The Broncos strike back through in-form prop Petero Civoniceva who crosses the line for the second week in a row. He's looking good for the Anzac Test. Parker converts and the Broncos make it a little embarrassing for the Panthers.
80 min: NEWS Fulltime here and the Broncos have comprehensively defeated a disappointing Panthers outfit.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Petero Civoniceva
2 - Tame Tupou
1 - Justin Hodges