Broncos fight back to surge past Dragons
Superior fitness leads to second-half fightback
The Broncos were forced to dig deep in the Brisbane heat to stage a scintillating second half fightback which surged them past the Dragons 40-18 at Suncorp Stadium in front of 26,612 fans. Kotoni Staggs and Reece Walsh put on a show with two tries each, while skipper Adam Reynolds’ kicking game was sublime, and Payne Haas (240m run), Thomas Flegler (196m) and Pat Carrigan (158m) laid the foundation as the Broncos turned around an ordinary opening 40 minutes – and an eight-point halftime deficit – to flex their superior fitness and run away with the game in the closing 10 minutes.
Dragons start strong with early try
The Dragons started the game with more enthusiasm and application, and opened the scoring through winger Mathew Feagai, catching the Broncos with a cheeky shortside play as the home team struggled to complete sets.
Broncos get back into the game with Staggs try
A piece of magic from Selwyn Cobbo looked to have put the home team back on even terms soon after where he leapt and won possession from a bouncing Reynolds bomb, flicking the ball back inside for Ezra Mam to score – only for the Bunker to rule the try out due to a knock forward by Cobbo. The Broncos would eventually get their opening try through Staggs, who started the set with a hard-working charge forward for meters, then finished it when he ran onto a perfectly placed Reynolds grubber kick off the back of a Mam line break to score. Reynolds converted to make it 6-4 after 20 minutes.
Dragons regain the lead with two tries
But the visitors made the Broncos pay for a series of uncompleted sets when they re-took the lead with a try through the right edge when an offload sent Tyrell Sloan scooting across in the 27th minute, Zac Lomax converting to lead 10-6. And the Dragons went further ahead in the 33rd minute when fullback Jayden Sullivan put on a big right-foot step through the line to score for a 16-6 advantage. But the Broncos grabbed back some momentum on the stroke of halftime when Reynolds slotted a two-point field goal from outside 40 metres to drag the margin back to eight points at the break.
Broncos carry momentum into second half
The home team carried that momentum into the second half as Cory Paix burrowed over from dummy half to score next to the posts off the back of repeat sets, with Reynolds converting to make it 16-14. The Broncos look to have extended their lead in the 57th minute when Walsh sliced through the right edge and found Cobbo who was just pushed into touch by Sullivan as he planted the ball down. The Dragons won a penalty from the ensuing set and Lomax converted to lock it up at 18-18 heading into the final quarter.
Walsh seals the deal with two tries in final minutes
And it was Walsh sealing the deal shortly after when he turned on the afterburners and scorched across himself after great offloads from Haas and Carrigan in the lead-up play to set up a 10-point lead with five minutes to go. The Broncos were surging again and another Haas offload put Kurt Capewell away to in-turn find a flying Mam away for another long-range effort which had the crowd on its feet. Walsh put the icing on the cake as he racked up a double off a great inside pass from Staggs to round out the scoring right on fulltime as the Broncos put away an incredible four tries in the closing seven minutes.