Brisbane have taken another step towards finals footy keeping their finals hopes alive after defeating the Panthers 24-12 at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Superstar rookie Payne Haas was outstanding and clinched the match with a rampaging run from 30 metres out, where he burst through three tackles and then over Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards to score a memorable try in front of his home fans.
The home side were outstanding when it mattered, with winger Jamayne Isaako also enjoying a night out with two tries and four goals in a strong performance from last year's Dally M Rookie of the Year.
With both sides finals hopes on the line, this was a huge match up with just a month remaining in the 2019 season. It was the Broncos who were under the pump early, when halfback Jake Turpin was sent to the Sin Bin, after the makeshift number seven made a late and high tackle on Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards.
The Broncos didn't let the advantage of the opposition having an extra player stop their momentum, when hooker Andrew McCullough ducked out of dummy half twenty metres out and found his centre Kotoni Staggs, who fended away from Edwards to score in the corner to open the home sides' account. Isaako converted from the sideline and Brisbane hit the lead 6-0.
The Broncos continued to make inroads down the middle through Hass and front row partner Matt Lodge which put pressure on the Panthers defensive line. Panthers prop James Fisher-Harris, was then penalised for being inside the ten metres and Isaako extended the lead to 8-0 after 31 minutes.
Penrith knew their season was on the line and they hit back just before the break, when Blues halfback Nathan Cleary took on the line on the last tackle to muscle his way over for a try next to the posts and keep the visitors in the fight at the break, trailing 8-6.
The Broncos came out in the second half on a mission with their forwards charging upfield through Hass and Pangai. Anthony Milford and Staggs then combined down the right-hand side to put Isaako over for a try in the corner and the Broncos led 12-6.
Brisbane then continued to have the ascendency, when Milford put a deft grubber behind the line on the last, which bounced up perfectly for Isaako to score his second try of the night and put Brisbane ahead by 18-6 following his conversion.
With their season on the line, the Panthers responded, when James Maloney threw a Harbour Bridge pass over the top to his centre Dean Whare, who flicked the ball inside to his winger Brain To'o who ran a direct line to the goalposts, beating three players to score and get the Panthers back in the game at 18-12 with 20 minutes remaining.
Haas then scored a rampaging try to secure the victory for the Broncos, keeping their finals hopes alive heading into the last three weeks of the regular season.
The Broncos remain at Suncorp Stadium in Round 23, where they face the Rabbitohs next Friday night. Penrith now face a tough away trip to Townsville prior to that match, where they face the Cowboys.