Ninth took on tenth in the NRL league ladder met as the Brisbane Broncos took on the Sydney Roosters at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane in the crucial opening round four match.
Both sides made changes, the most notable being the loss of James Tedesco who awoke this morning with a temperature. He was replaced by Englishman Ryan Hall with Brett Morris moving to the full back position.
Both sides needed a win to stop them from falling further adrift of the top of the table.
The opening exchanges were all Sydney Roosters as they pressured the Broncos line. Josh Morris stretched to score after just four minutes taking a pass from his brother Brett to spin over the line after picking the ball off his boot laces. Kyle Flanagan pulled his conversion left of the uprights.
Five minutes later the Roosters were in again as they benefitted from back to back sixes. The ball was moved wide left from twenty metres out with Brett Morris again the provider, this time putting Joseph Manu over to score by the corner flag. Flanagan drilled the extras between the uprights, the Roosters totally dominant.
On nineteen it was Victor Radley’s turn to score as he bulldozed over the line from ten metres to score under the sticks. The Broncos defenders were breathing hard from a massive defensive stint and provided little opposition as the Roosters forward got the third try of the night. Flanagan was accurate from in front of the sticks for 16-0, the Broncos not getting any time with the ball.
The Broncos first opportunity was ended by Brett Morris who bundled Corey Oates into touch a few metres short of the line.
On twenty-five Angus Crichton took a head ball on the Broncos ten metre line and tucked it under his arm to push of the tacklers and get the ball on the ground. Flanagan added the extras for 22-0, a punishment beating from a Roosters side who now looked certain to double their ladder points.
The Broncos bombed a chance on the half hour mark and the Roosters broke downfield immediately with Jake Friend, Hadley and Flanagan combining, the half-back completing the move under the sticks. Flanagan added the extras from under the uprights for 28-0, it was devastating for the Broncos.
Luke Keary kicked a field goal on the stroke of half time for a 29-0 lead. It was all one-way traffic in the first half, the Roosters demolishing a young and inexperienced Broncos.
There were four minutes on the second half clock when Luke Keary took a Liu pass on the half-way line and motored downfield to score under the ‘H’ without any Broncos player being able to lay a hand on him. Flanagan kicked his fifth goal of the night for a 35-0 lead.
On fifty-five Jesse Arthars was sin-binned for the Broncos after back top back infringements at the play-the-ball.
On fifty-nine it was all way too easy when Lindsay Collins hit a gap and went twenty to the Broncos line to score. Flanagan was accurate with the boot to bring up the forty. On sixty-three Crichton went under two Broncos defenders to ground the ball for his second try of the night and when Flanagan again added the extras it was 47-0.
On seventy the Roosters hit the half century when Brett and Josh Morris combined to but Daniel Tupou over in the left corner for the ninth try of the evening. Flanagan kicked brilliantly from the touchline for 53-0.
A breakaway try on seventy-five was the tenth of the night for Sydney as they quickly moved the ball left before an inside pass to Brett Morris for him to join the list of try scorers. Flanagan's kick, his ninth from ten opportunities, took the score to 59-0
The Broncos and their fans will wish to quicky banish the thoughts of how they capitulated at the hands of the defending champions. The Roosters were devastating, clinical, and punishing. The Roosters are up to fifth on the ladder, the Broncos in all kinds of trouble.
Brisbane Broncos: Isaako, Oates, Arthars (SB on 55), Boyd, Farnworth, Milford, Croft, Flegler, Bullemor, Haas, Hopoate, Carrigan, Paix. Subs: Niu, Ofahengaue, Kennedy, Lodge.
Sydney Roosters: Morris B (T), Tupou (T), Morris J (T), Manu (T), Hall, Keary (T, DG), Flanagan (T, 9G), Waera-Hargreaves, Friend, Cordner, Crichton (2T), Radley (T), Taukeiaho. Subs: Liu, Verrills, Collins (T), Butcher.
Referee: Grant Atkins.
Ground: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.