Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
47 hours ago
Brisbane Broncos 16 def. Cronulla Sharks 12
The Brisbane Broncos have come from behind late in the match to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 16-12 at Toyota Park this evening.
Cronulla should have run away with this game and how theThe Brisbane Broncos have come from behind late in the match to defeat the Cronulla Sharks 16-12 at Toyota Park this evening.
Cronulla should have run away with this game and how they lost it is beyond me but their completion rate for the entire game was below 50% and if you can?t complete your sets at least half the time, then you are going to struggle to win football games. Stuart Raper will be bitterly disappointed losing their opening game at home to a team flogged by 32 points the previous week.
The Broncos did well to hang in when they should have been down by at least 18 points midway through the first half if Luke Covell had shown some brains and passed the ball to an unmarked player on his outside to seal the match and go up by 18 points.
The win was vital for the Broncos after last weekends capitulation at the hands of the Cowboys and it was a chance for the Broncos to prove the naysayers wrong (me included) and that they are not a dads army or a spent force in 2006.
The Sharks scored a fantastic 100 metre try after the Broncos put up the bomb and David Simmons caught it in his own in goal, set off down filed and tore the Broncos defence to shreds and eventually offloaded to Darren Albert to score the try of the season so far and a try that will no doubt be one of the highlights of the season.
Brett Kimmorley was rusty in his first game for the year but Adam Dykes played a fine game for the Sharks while for the Broncos the experienced men led the way superbly with Darren Lockyer, Shane Webcke and Brad Thorn all having strong games for the visiting team.
Cronulla Sutherland Sharks: 12
Tries: Adam Dykes, Darren Albert
Goals: Luke Covell 2/3
Brisbane Broncos: 16
Tries: Casey McGuire, Brad Thorn, Shane Webcke
Goals: Michael Ennis 2/3
Referee: Russell Smith
1 min: NEWS We are underway at Toyota Park for the Sharks first game of the year.
1 min: NEWS We are currently observing a minutes silence to honour the great Steve Rogers who passed away earlier this year.
3 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Brett Kimmorely drifts across field and picks up Adam Dykes running through a gaping hole in the Broncos defence to score the Sharks first try of the year. Conversion successful.
15 min: NEWS Cronulla looking stronger and more skillful this year with a new looking side. Brisbane are playing well but the Sharks look comfortable so far.
21 min: TRY Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
David Simmons catches a Broncos bomb in his own in goal and then runs 90 metres before offloading to Darren Albert to score under the posts untouched. A 100 metre try to shred the Broncos defence and open up a 12 point lead midway through the first half. Outstanding try from the Sharks.
28 min: NEWS Darren Lockyer gets the Broncos a repeate set of six as they begin to mount some pressure on the Sharks defensive line.
33 min: NEWS Luke Covell makes a 80 metre break and fails to pass to the man unmarked on his outside to butcher another Sharks try leading into half time. Had the Sharks scored and converted, there was no coming back for the Broncos from an 18 point deficit.
39 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Cronulla Sutherland Sharks
Missed penalty goal from Luke Covell a minute out from half time.
40 min: NEWS The Broncos are down by a dozen at the break and if they don't fix their defensive line in the next 40 minutes, the Sharks will eat them alive.
41 min: NEWS We are underway in the second half.
45 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Thorn scores off a great break made by Michael Ennis to get the Broncos back into the match. Conversion unsuccessful.
51 min: NEWS video ref to check on a possible try to Broncos winger Darius Boyd but the try is not awarded as Boyd put a foot into touch and failed to ground the ball.
65 min: NEWS The game is getting scrappy but the Broncos are on the attack and if they score off this set of six, they are right back in the match. The handling and execution in th second half has been ordinary at best.
66 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
Shane Webcke crosses for a rare four pointer to close the gap as we enter the final stage of a disappointing game of football. Conversion successful.
69 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos
McGuire scores off a Lockyer grubber to give the Broncos the lead for the first time in the match. Can the Sharks hit back or will the Broncos score again and put the issue beyond doubt? How the Sharks are behind in this match is beyond me.
78 min: NEWS Luke Covell kills off any chance of a Sharks comeback by stickig his mits where they did not belong. He has cost them twice this evening and his stature as some sort of eclectic cult heror is seriously under threat after a very poor performance.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Darren Lockyer (Broncos)
2 - Brad Thorn (Broncos)
1 - Adam Dykes (Sharks)