Full Time
8:05pm Fri March 3, 2023
Round 1 - BlueBet Stadium, Penrith / Dharug - Crowd: 17125

Match Overview

Brisbane Broncos have produced the first upset of the 2023 NRL season with a 13-12 win over reigning premiers Penrith Panthers tonight in Penrith. 

It was a rearguard display from the Broncos, who tackled their way to the points tonight. Halfback Adam Reynold weaved some magic with the late field goal which led them to a first win in the west in 15 years. 

From the opening whistle, both sides ripped into each other in some slippery conditions in Sydney's west. Both kicking games were key to the contest with two key exponents in Adam Reynolds and Nathan Cleary. 

Panthers buoyed by a bumper crowd were the first to find the stripe. Stephen Crichton started the move in his own half before it linked up down the right before the centre strode away from the defense to make it 6-0. 

The Broncos were bright in their work early and probed the line well. They responded with a four-pointer themselves through their strike centre. Herbie Farnworth sliced through from an Reynolds pass to level the game up at six. 

Quickly, it was double delight for the visitors. Ezra Mam weaved past the Panthers, toed it ahead for himself before he was shouldered away. Farnworth showed his speed and beat the Panthers defense to the ball to make it 12-6. 

On a slick surface, kicking games were key. Cleary piloted a kick which rebounded right from the upright and fell into the lap of Liam Martin. The representative backrower was unable to ground the ball on a frustrated night for the premiers. 

Near misses and communication errors were the Panthers downfall tonight. Their usual slick attack was stunted and it wasn't until interchange hooker Soni Luke came on which gave them a spark late in the contest. 

Panthers piled on the pressure with dropouts galore in the second half. Broncos remained stout and held their line well and made some superb last ditch tackles to deny the Panthers any points with a baying crowd behind them. 

Reynolds pushed the advantage to seven in the 69th minute. He forced the Panthers defense to play at the ball to get six more then cool as a cucumber slotted the field goal to make it 13-6 in the wet. 

Luke gave the hosts a brief thought of a comeback. He scooted from dummy half to reduce the margin to one but the premiers left it too late and were unable to will themselves to a win against a spirited Broncos side. 

3. Herbie Farnworth

2. Adam Reynolds

1. Payne Haas