Full Time
7:50pm Fri July 20, 2018
Round 19 - Suncorp Stadium - Crowd: 26357

Match Overview

The Broncos have put on one of the most impressive first halves of football in recent memory, blowing the Penrith Panthers off the park to lead by 32-0 at halftime and then go on with the job in the second half to run away 50-18 winners at Suncorp Stadium tonight.

After stumbling at home in a shock loss to the Warriors last Sunday, Wayne Bennett's men have completely turned things round within five days, with an eight try demolition over premiership contenders Penrith. 

The win secures the Broncos spot in the Top 8 for the next few weeks at worst and also sent a message out to the rest of the competition that the Broncos are well in contention for the 2018 premiership should they hold their form.

Despite receiving a lot of criticism so far this year, Broncos halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima were outstanding for the home side, having a hand in four of the home sides' eight tries. Nikorima was particularly reading the play well, scoring a double from brilliantly read intercepts in the second half to put the icing on the cake for home fans who have suffered from some inconsistent performances from their side so far in 2018. 

The Broncos fired out of a cannon in the first half in an impeccable display running in five first half tries, making just one error, going on to complete 20 out of 21 sets to start the match in the most positive way in front of a parochial home crowd.

Tear away second rower Tevita Pangai Jr was in the thick of the action early scoring a double within the first 14 minutes in a powerhouse display. Pangai's double however was overshadowed when Anthony Milford chipped over the top for halves partner Nikorima early in the tackle count. Nikorima then chipped the ball off the ground, channeling former Raiders fullback Brett Mullins' famous try against the club, with the kick finding a steaming James Roberts who scored under the posts.

A penalty against Panthers five-eighth James Maloney for a shoulder charge on opposite Milford then gave the home side the opportunity to extend their lead, and Jamayne Issako obliged raising the flags to make it 20 nil after as many minutes.

The rampage continued when Broncos winger Corey Oates steamed onto a no- look pass from Nikorima and the Panthers were staring down the barrel of giving their opposition a 26 point start in as the scoreline raced the clock. 

The misery continued for the visitors when Milford kicked early in the tackle count, which saw Oates and Panther winger Christian Crichton in a match race for the ball. Crichton then pulled Oates by the arm in the chase but the ball bounced off the Panthers winger's head and Broncos captain Darius Boyd was on the spot to touch down, with Issako's conversion making the scoreline a mammoth 32-0 at the break. 

Panthers Coach Anthony Griffin came into the match with a superb record against his former club and he managed to get his side to come out with the right attitude early on with the Panthers piling on two quick tries to outside backs Waqa Blake and Josh Mansour to give the visitors a chance to mount a miracle comeback when the score line was clawed back to 32-10 with half an hour remaining.

Broncos half Nikorima, then iced the match for the home side, pinching the first of his intercept tries off a James Maloney pass to extend the scoreline to an insurmountable lead. 

For the Panthers, NSW utility Tyrone Peachey was superb  off the bench, splitting the Broncos defence on several occasions with his ad-lib style of football and the NSW utility was rewarded with a consolation try, before Nikorima's second intercept and prop Matt Lodge barged over for a try on fulltime to bring up the half century for the Broncos.

The Panthers will need to put the loss behind them, as they never got off the bus in the Suncorp Stadium carpark. Next up they face the Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval in a must win game if they are to still contend for a Top 4 finish.

Brisbane now face the Cronulla Sharks in an absolute blockbuster to open Round 20 at Suncorp Stadium next Thursday night.

3. Kodi Nikorima

The often criticised halfback was outstanding for the Broncos, scoring 2 tries and having a hand in 3 other tries. Superb effort.

2. Anthony Milford

Is back to his best and holds the key to the Broncos premiership aspirations. Was a constant threat for the Panthers defensive line and his kicking game was superb.

1. Tevita Pangai Junior

Absolutely dominated in the first 30mins to get his side on the front foot and then mysteriously did not return. Bennett is keeping on a short leash before the finals series perhaps.