1. Blistering start, coupled with a thrilling conclusion
The match had a buzz about it which closely resembled State of Origin and the match was played at a similar intensity. Until the deadlock was broken by the Roosters, the game was very much end-to-end.
Upon finding themselves 18-6 behind in the second half, the Broncos displayed their quality by mounting a fightback. They were even able to hit the lead, courtesy of a try from winger Corey Oates after Roosters winger Blake Ferguson attempted to prevent a 40/20 kick by Broncos half-back Benji Marshall.
However, the Roosters deservedly took the points courtesy of a brilliant solo try by prodigy centre Latrell Mitchell.
2. Opening 30 minutes key to Roosters’ victory
After a blistering start to the match from both teams, the Roosters raced out to a 14-0 lead, courtesy of converted tries from back-rowers Aidan Guerra and Boyd Cordner, as well as a Michael Gordon penalty goal. The margin could have been even greater but for an unfortunate lost ball near the try line by lock forward Isaac Liu.
They led 14-6 at half time and extended it in the second period courtesy of a Luke Keary try, before the Broncos scored successive four-pointers to hit the lead. Mitchell would soon reclaim the advantage for the Roosters, courtesy of a dazzling solo try. From there, the Roosters would repel all attempts at the line by the Broncos, en route to victory.
However, it was their first half display which laid the foundation for the Roosters’ win. The Tricolours put in a far greater second half showing however that may well have taken it out of them before the hosts snatched a late victory.
3. Below par Broncos
The Broncos looked like they may have pulled off an impressive comeback after Oates’ second try before they lost the game late on. But their second half spirit did little to appease coach Wayne Bennett.
Bennett claimed that they would not have beaten the bottom teams with this display, as well as not being overly confident after hitting the lead. It’s difficult to argue with Bennett’s frank assessment, given the Broncos missed 34 tackles alongside conceding needless penalties and making crucial errors in the match. The majority of the Roosters’ tries were the result of some very poor errors in defence. The absences of fullback Darius Boyd and tackling machine Andrew McCullough were as clear as ever.
4. Mitchell saves Ferguson’s blushes
The game was delicately poised at 18-16, with the Broncos mounting a comeback. With 10 minutes remaining, Broncos half-back Marshall attempted a 40/20 which would have given his team a scrum feed, 20 metres out from the Roosters’ try line. Ferguson instinctively raced to his wing to prevent the 40/20 however in doing so, he knocked the ball down for Oates to stroll over and claim the lead.
However, Ferguson’s agony, as well as the Broncos’ lead, would be short-lived. This was thanks to Mitchell, who atoned for his shocking round six display against the Broncos in Brisbane. Mitchell barged through James Roberts and the Broncos defence before outpacing the fullback to save Ferguson’s blushes and win the game.
5. Roosters advance directly into the preliminary finals
The Tricolours will directly advance to the preliminary finals in week one, earning next week off in the process. The week off will afford the Roosters more time to prepare for the preliminary final, over their prospective opponents. Their opponents will be decided by the match featuring the loser of the Storm/Eels qualifying final and the winner of the Sharks/Cowboys elimination final.
However, after this week ends, all matches are must win. Win, and a place in the Grand Final is theirs. Lose and their 2017 will be over..
The next week can be used as an opportunity to improve their execution in attack, as they wasted clear try scoring opportunities. They will also be looking for more consistency after the Broncos nearly came from behind to snatch victory.
6. Broncos live to fight another day
The Broncos live on to fight another day in the finals despite falling to defeat. They will play the winner of Saturday’s Sea Eagles vs Panthers elimination final. They won’t be given a second chance on that occasion as the loser shall be eliminated.
Brisbane’s defence was rather substandard, as was their discipline. This will undoubtedly be addressed during the week. Bennett went to the extent of saying that the Broncos did not deserve to win, suggesting the final scoreline of 24-22 was rather flattering to them.
If the Broncos were to win the Premiership, they’d have no choice but to do so the hard way, by playing in each week of the finals. Whilst this is challenging, it is certainly possible. They only need to look at their Queensland rivals, the Cowboys, who achieved this feat in 2015.
What were your highlights from the Roosters 24-22 win over the Broncos? Let us know in the comments below.
Want to share your opinion? Why not Write For Us?