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An emphatic second half has launched the Brisbane Broncos into the NRL top eight after a comprehensive 58-24 victory over the Panthers in front of 25,305 delirious fans at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon.
The Broncos second-half shutout of the Panthers sent a chilling warning to their NRL rivals that they're not quite done for season 2009 and sets up a mouth-watering clash with the ladder-leading Dragons next week.
Both sides traded tries in an entertaining first half, with the Panthers scoring at a rate of a try every ten minutes through tries to Frank Pritchard, Lue Lewis, Brad Tighe and Trent Waterhouse on the stroke of halftime. The Broncos scored three tries of their own, with Karmichael Hunt opening their account before tries to Dave Taylor and Ben Te'o rounding off the scoring in a sun-drenched Suncorp Stadium. Unfortunately for the Panthers, their try to captain Waterhouse would be their final try of the game as the half-time siren sounded. Little did they know what was about to unfold before their very eyes.
Antonio Winterstein commenced the second-half tryfest, completing a scintillating length-of-the-field effort, which was only outdone by Ben Te'o's effort after the fulltime siren. Captain Darren Lockyer was at his complete best, setting up, or having a hand in almost all of their ten tries, seven of which came in the second half. Ashton Sims, Sam Thaiday, Josh McGuire and Jharal Yow-Yeh also got their name on the scoresheet, along with Te'o who scored a double, as did fullback Karmichael Hunt. The Panthers were never in the hunt in the second half, seeing their 24-18 halftime lead evaporate in 40 minutes as they were handed one of their biggest defeats of the season.
The Panthers will need to bounce back, and quickly, before their clash with the Rabbitohs next Saturday night as they look to reignite their semi-final hopes.
Match Details Brisbane Broncos 58 def Penrith Panthers 24 Round 23 - Sunday August 16th, 2009 03:00pm Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Referee: Shayne Hayne & Matt Cecchin Sideline Officials: Paul Holland & Gavin Morris Video Referee: Tim Mander Crowd: 25,305 Halftime: Brisbane Broncos 18 Penrith Panthers 24
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Darren Lockyer (Broncos) 2 Points: Karmichael Hunt (Broncos) 1 Point: Peter Wallace (Broncos)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Talk about the game as it happens - Broncos v Panthers forum discussion - click here!
It's crunch time for both teams today as the Broncos and Panthers go head to head at Suncorp Stadium this afternoon. The Broncos got themselves back in the winners circle last week with a shaky-yet-solid showing against cellar-dwellers the Cronulla Sharks, a victory they'll be looking to build on, while Penrith tried to keep up with the Dragons in their 1000th premiership match last week before eventually losing 25-6.
There's a couple of changes but they're only for the men in black. Brisbane are as per program. The teams are as follows:
BRONCOS: 1. Karmichael Hunt 2. Antonio Winterstein 3. Alex Glenn 4. Justin Hodges 5. Jharal Yow Yeh 6. Darren Lockyer 7. Peter Wallace 8. Nick Kenny 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Dave Taylor 11. Tonie Carroll 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Corey Parker Interchange: 14. Lagi Setu 15. Ben Te'o 16. Josh McGuire 17. Ashton Sims PANTHERS: 17. Maurice Blair 2. Junior Tia Kilifi 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Tighe 5. Michael Gordon 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Walsh 8. Frank Puletua 9. Paul Aiton 10. Matthew Bell 11. Trent Waterhouse 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Luke Lewis 14. Nathan Smith 15. Gavin Cooper 16. Joseph Paulo 20. Tim Grant
The teams are out on the park here at Suncorp, we're ready for action on a sunny Sunday afternoon...
2 min: PENALTY Broncos - Penrith players not fast enough off the tackled player as the home side comes off their own line.
5 min: Broncos with an early attacking chance following a Penrith error.
6 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The Panthers had it all over the Broncos in the first few minutes but they've gifted the Brisbane side possession in good field position and the class of Lockyer linking up with Hodges and Karmichael Hunt sees the AFL convert score an entertaining try out wide. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 6-0
8 min: A failed 40/20 attempt from the Broncos will see the Panthers with a scrum just outside their own 20m.
10 min: TRY Penrith Panthers A fantastic break by Frank Pritchard and he's looking for support, then... decides to go himself... he's there! Try for the visitors and they hit straight back. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. 6 all
12 min: PENALTY Broncos. Luke Lewis penalised for not releasing the tackled player. The Broncos with the ball on the halfway line.
15 min: Panthers knock on moving the ball away from their own line. The Broncos with another chance to hit the lead once again.
17 min: PENALTY Panthers. Pritchard milks a penalty for all it was worth after lying on Karmichael Hunt's arm. The Panthers now go on the attack.
18 min: The Panthers put up an attacking cross-field kick which was lost my Hodges, before Lockyer came to the rescue, knocking it over the dead ball line. Repeat set coming up here for the Panthers.
19 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Luke Walsh scores the second Panthers try with a sensational solo effort and scores 10 metres to the side of the uprights! Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 12-6
23 min: Knock-on Panthers. Graham knocks the ball carrying arm of Justin Hodges, culminating in a dropped ball. Perhaps an unlucky call against the Panthers.
24 min: PENALTY Broncos. The Panthers penalised for not releasing the tackled player quickly enough.
24 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Broncos try. Tim Mander in the box will be looking at a possible obstruction ...
24 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The Broncos hit straight back through Ben Te'o. Lockyer's pass puts Te'o into a yawning gap. The Broncos at their best. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. 12 all
26 min: Nick Kenny's big hit forces a knock-on from the Panthers. The Broncos on the attack now.
27 min: PENALTY Broncos. Panthers found offside.
28 min: PENALTY Panthers. Ben Te'o penalised for being accidentally offside. The Panthers with a chance to take some air into their lungs.
30 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Winterstein gets himself into an awful tangle retrieving a kick! He juggled the ball, before losing it, and Tighe was in the right place at the right time to take full advantage of Winterstein's misfortune. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 18-12
33 min: PENALTY Broncos. Panthers inside the 10. The Broncos again looking to level the scores.
35 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Dave Taylor scores for the Broncos, running the angle off a wonderful pass from Wallace! The two teams continue to trade tries in a classic first half of Sunday afternoon football. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. 18 all
38 min: PENALTY Panthers. The Panthers, with the clock winding down, will have a final chance to score points in the half here.
40 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Panthers try. Waterhouse looks to have gotten the ball down after diving over from dummy half. Tim Mander into the action again.
40 min: TRY Penrith Panthers Trent Waterhouse scores for the Panthers as the siren sounds for halftime. Another talking point relating to the scoring of a try, with Mander awarding a try with "Benefit of the Doubt". Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful. Penrith Panthers 24-18
Halftime here at Suncorp Stadium with an entertaining half coming to a close and the Panthers putting their noses in front 24-18. The Panthers have been consistent, scoring at a rate of one try every ten minutes, while the Broncos have had their chances, but their goal-line defence still needs a lot of work.
40 min: And the second half is underway, with the Panthers having first use of the ball.
44 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Winterstein completes a wonderful length-of-the-field try for the Broncos! Taylor delivers a perfect final pass to send Winterstein over in the corner. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker unsuccessful. Penrith Panthers 24-22
51 min: PENALTY Panthers. The Broncos are penalised for having hands on the ball - notably Sam Thaiday. The Panthers move the ball out of their danger zone.
52 min: Knock-on Panthers. Jennings knocks the ball into the body of Lockyer, although replays indicate Lockyer may have gotten a hand on the ball.
53 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Ashton Sims crashes over from close range, after another classy pass from captain Darren Lockyer! Lockyer drifted across field and all Sims needed to do was catch the pass, which he had no trouble with to put the Broncos in front again. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 28-24
63 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Josh McGuire scores yet another try for the Broncos, sending the pro-Broncos crowd at Suncorp into raptures! Corey Parker charged through the middle of the Panthers defence, taking advantage of another perfectly timed pass from Lockyer. Alarm bells are beginning to ring for the Panthers. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 34-24
65 min: Yow Yeh forces a goal-line dropout after a near-perfect set of six from the Broncos. The Panthers need to hang on here.
65 min: VIDEO REFEREE : Possible Broncos try to Sam Thaiday. Checking grounding ...
67 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Quick decision from Tim Mander awards another try for the Broncos to Sam Thaiday, celebrating his 99th match for the Broncos! The Broncos now kick clear. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 40-24
70 min: Knock on Broncos. The Broncos make their first error of the second half after perhaps getting a bit too fancy.
72 min: 40-20 kick from Darren Lockyer. The Broncos appear to be able to do no wrong.
73 min: VIDEO REFEREE : Possible Broncos try. Checking possible knock-ons.
74 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Yow Yeh scores yet another try for the Broncos, diving over in the corner, as the scoreline begins to blow out and look ugly for the Panthers. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 46-24
77 min: PENALTY Panthers. Broncos going on with the tackle too long.
77 min: Knock-on Panthers. The Panthers can do nothing right in this second half.
79 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos Karmichael Hunt puts the icing on the cake in an emphatic victory for the Broncos! Another Darren Lockyer pass sends Hunt into the back-play, before he takes the fullback on, passing to Parker, before receiving the return pass and diving over under the posts to bring up the half-century. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 52-24
80 min: TRY Brisbane Broncos The Broncos score ANOTHER try in the second half!! Lockyer threw caution to the wind, placing a cross-field kick towards Winterstein, who knocked the ball back to Setu, who found Te'o who raced 50 metres to score in the corner and put an exclamation mark on a thoroughly emphatic performance. Conversion attempt by Corey Parker successful. Brisbane Broncos 58-24