#ORIGIN | Rick's weekly column looks at whether the dead rubber's worth the hassle - and if it is, w...
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The Broncos have travelled to Mt Smart stadium expecting fierce resistance from competition co-leaders the New Zealand Warriors. The Warriors went down 26-10, with the score line flattering the home side.
A large crowd was on hand for this top of the table clash. The game looked mouth watering on paper, and both teams started out in a frantic pace. It wasnt long before the Broncos got the upper hand, with Joel Clinton scoring a try from a Wallace grubber.
Four minutes later the Broncos were in again. Again Wallace was heavily involved in the lead-up as the Broncos raided the Warriors line. The Broncos playmaker then drifted across field to lay a perfectly timed pass on the chest of the hard running Steve Michaels. Michaels cruised over the line and suddenly the Warriors were staring at a 12 point deficit after only 15 minutes.
The Broncos controlled the game for much of the first half, and their dominance was rewarded by a try shortly before half time. Man mountain, Dave Taylor, stormed onto a pass and broke through the Warriors line. He drew the fullback superbly and floated a ball across to the ever present Israel Folau. Folau outpaced Denan Kemp to the line to score in the corner. The Broncos would take this 16 point lead into the break.
The half time talk from coach Ivan Cleary or the injection of Stacey Jones doesnt do much to help the Warriors cause. It doesnt take long for the Broncos to score again. Alex Glenn hits a hole at top speed, latching onto a Lockyer pass to outpace Wade McKinnon to the line.
Eight minutes later the Broncos are awarded a penalty under the new kicker protection rules. Lockyer appeared to be hit almost simultaneously as he kicked, but the referee penalised the Warriors, a decision best described as dubious. From the ensuing set, the Broncos threw the ball around inside the Warriors red zone, before Lockyer broke through a tackle and cantered to score under the posts.
The Broncos then went into cruise mode, allowing the Warriors to add some respectability to the score line. The Warriors received one of the their own dubious penalties for a late tackle. The Warriors capitalised on their good fortune, with a try to Simon Mannering. Mannering powered over after Steve Price was stopped just short on the previous tackle.
The Warriors were in again late in the game, when Russell Packer stood in a tackle to provide a wonderful off load to Ukuma Ta'ai who carried a defender to the try line, as he scored the Warriors second.
The final score flattered the home team. The Warriors were outclassed and out enthused by a Broncos team who have adapted to the new rules with ease. They dominated the ruck, and their forwards overpowered the often feared Warriors pack. For the Warriors, Price, Fien and Hendersen tried hard. They had little support from their team mates. Even the mercurial Stacey Jones was kept quiet by the line speed of the Broncos defence.
The Broncos on the other hand were impressive all over the park. Led by Dave Taylor, Ben Te'o and Sam Thaiday. They laid the platform for the usual suspects to shine. Wallace was outstanding. He defended strong, and his kicking and passing game was flawless. Lockyer came into his own in the second half, laying on a try for Alex Glenn and scoring one himself.
The win puts the Broncos on top of the NRL ladder as the only undefeated team in the competition. The Warriors have a week to rediscover the form that saw them being touted as premiership heavyweights. The job made even harder by the fact the star centre Brent Tate suffering a season ending knee injury late in the first half.
Match Details Brisbane Broncos 26 def New Zealand Warriors 10 Round 3 - Saturday :: March 28th, 2009 Venue: Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland Crowd: 24,538 Referee: Jason Robinson & Matt Cecchin Sideline Officials: Gavin Reynolds & David Abood Video Referee: Steve Clark Halftime: Broncos 16-0
New Zealand Warriors 10 Tries: Simon Mannering, Ukuma Ta'ai Goals: Denan Kemp (1/2) Brisbane Broncos 26 Tries: Joel Clinton, Steve Michaels, Israel Folau, Alex Glenn, Darren Lockyer Goals: Corey Parker (3/6)
TEAMS (named during week) WARRIORS: 1. Wade McKinnon 2. Denan Kemp 3. Brent Tate 4. Jerome Ropati 5. Aidan Kirk 6. Joel Moon 7. Nathan Fien 8. Sam Rapira 9. Ian Henderson 10. Steve Price (c) 11. Simon Mannering 12. Jacob Lillyman 13. Micheal Luck (vc) Interchange: 14. Stacey Jones 15. Russell Packer 16. Jesse Royal 17. Ukuma Ta