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Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels: 6 things we learned

It will live long in the memories of both sets of fans, but what did we learn from the Parramatta Eels' 52-34 win over the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium?


The Brisbane Broncos could rue a shock loss to the Eels as their top two credentials come under question after a 52-34 defeat.

Parramatta were almost impossible to stop in a tremendous first half, illustrated perfectly by the unstoppable Semi Radradra, who provided a potential last glimpse of his immense talent before the finals and his end of season move to French rugby union.

  1. 1 Eels fly out of the box


    Although they returned to winning ways in clinical fashion against the Gold Coast Titans last week, beating the beleaguered club 30-8, the Eels were not too far removed from the side that lost convincingly to the Knights just two weeks prior.

    They needed a quick start at the high-flying Broncos and that was exactly what they got, scoring two tries inside the first seven minutes 

    Semi Radradra provided another glimpse of the talent the Eels are losing with a strong leap and finish for his second try in the 14th minute.

    The Toulon-bound winger grabbed a hat-trick soon afterwards as the visitors raced to a 24-0 lead inside the opening quarter.

  2. 2 Fortress Suncorp is breachable


    Brisbane have lost just two of their previous 11 games at home but the Eels conquered fortress Suncorp in style.

    As the tries rained down on the Brisbane defence, the schoolboy errors and inexplicable choices began to mount for the home side, who looked far from the polished contender they have for much of the season.

    By the time David Mead crossed the stripe with 24 minutes on the clock, Wayne Bennett's men had a mountain to climb to get back in to the contest.

    Parramatta have shown that Brisbane are not undefeatable at the infamous Suncorp Stadium.

  3. 3 No lack of passion


    It's been four years since Corey Norman played for the Broncos but he wasted no time reacquainting himself with some ex-teammates.

    This game had its fair share of pushes, shoves and minor flare-ups.

    Plenty of the early niggle came from the Broncos, who were belted from pillar to post and on the wrong end of a huge scoreline. But on a number of occasions, Norman came out of a tackle and shared a shove or some words with a Broncos player.

    With key spots inside the top four on the line, it was refreshing to see plenty of passion and energy in a prime-time Thursday night fixture.

  4. 4 Barnstorming first half was key


    The Eels laid the platform for their win with a dominant, barnstorming first half, in which they bashed the Broncos through the middle of the ruck, ran past them out wide, and forced their experienced opponents into uncharacteristic and inexplicable mistakes.

    A mistake from Adam Blair from the kick off set the tone as the Eels scooted straight over to score and the shell-shocked Broncos spent most of the rest of the half looking like they had few answers for the mobility, pace and ball movement of Parramatta.

  5. 5 Semi Radradra will be sorely missed


    There aren't too many players who conjure up images of the great Jonah Lomu in full flight, but Radradra is about as close as the NRL has got to a replica of the great All Black legend in full stride.

    It's perhaps fitting that he's off the play rugby union in France once his time with the Parramatta Eels is up this season.

    Radradra has left us with a number of memories and highlight reel moments on his way to a four-try performance at Suncorp Stadium.

  6. 6 Are the Broncos the real deal?


    Coming into the penultimate round of the season, the Broncos were sitting pretty in second place on the NRL ladder. Their showing against the Eels was more akin to a cellar-dweller than a top four side.

    While the Storm put 42 points on the Broncos in round 17, it has been four years since the Broncos conceded 50 points in a game. The last time also came at Suncorp when the Warriors managed a 56-18 win in 2013.

    Brisbane managed to grab themselves some consolation points late in the game but the Eels were dominant in grabbing a vital win for their finals charge.

    Most Broncos fans will want to chalk this one up to experience and move on quickly, but the question has to be asked, are the Broncos the real deal?

    What were your highlights from the Eels' big win over the Broncos? Let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Lang

Rugby League & Cricket editor at RealSport.

Daniel is a passionate advocate for the game of rugby league and the development of the sport across the world and, as such, writes with a zeal and determination to spread the gospel of the game.

A huge fan of cricket, football, NFL, Tennis and Supercar racing in Australia, Daniel can quickly find himself a casual fan of just about any sport after putting his mind to watching it.

Daniel is also one-half of the hugely successful podcast 'Panthers Weekly with Strawbs & Teach' where he talks all things Panthers Weekly while he also hosts the current affairs show 'the Strawbs Show' and the 'Summer of Cricket with Strawbs & Shnuu' as well as appearing on the Sydney FC covering 'Nothing But Blue Skies' podcast occasionally.

Brisbane Broncos vs Parramatta Eels: 6 things we learned

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