Brisbane Broncos won their fourth game of the season against a disappointed Cronulla Sharks outfit, 26-18 this afternoon at Lang Park.
Playing a rare daytime contest, the Broncos produced their best performance of the season to down the finals chasing Sharks in a five tries to three success to give themselves some breathing room as they look to avoid the wooden spoon.
From the opening set where they muscled up, the Broncos looked in a mood this afternoon. Buoyed by some superb defense early in the contest, the Broncos showed some grit which has been lacking in parts this season, drawing level thrice before they ran in two tries in the last 15 minutes to secure the win.
Broncos skipper Alex Glenn got the home side on the board after the hailey's comet of rugby league, Aidan Tolman opened the scoring for the Sharks. Brisbane briefly hit the front when Tesi Niu finished off a raid on the right before Connor Tracey made sure it was 12-all at the break.
The second half was back and forth between two sides desperate to get the win. Brisbane snuck ahead through Ethan Bullemor who rampaged onto a delightful pass from Man of the Match Payne Haas then the Sharks bit back through Tracey's second from some wonderful work from William Kennedy.
From there, the Broncos stampeded all over the Sharks. Niu created a highlight reel moment. The young fullback broke one tackle and raced the length of the field despite the attention of Mulitalo to complete his double, putting Brisbane ahead 22-18.
Jesse Arthurs who started on the bench came on after a fine return performance from Kotoni Staggs gave the Broncos a buffer in the 65th minute. He chewed up the metres and the slack defense of the Sharks to make it 26-18.
There was some brief late fight from the Sharks but they were clearly second best tonight. It was left to some of the younger members of the squad in Kennedy, Tracey and Braydon Trindall who showed some spirit while the only time Jesse Ramien fired up was after being stunned by Tyson Gamble.
Ramien was involved in one of the more interesting bunker calls of the season. He looked to have scored the opening try after sprinting away from a forward pass. The bunker intervened and decided that the bat-on was forward which saved the touch judges blushes.