Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson accused his players of being too emotional after Victor Radley was sin-binned twice and placed on report four times as Tevita Pangai jnr and Albert Kelly inspired Brisbane to a shock 34-16 triumph at the SCG.
Pangai, who targeted rookie Roosters halfback Sam Walker and engaged in a running battle with Radley, was the star in an impressive Broncos performance as they bounced back from a 50-6 loss to Manly to record just their third win of the season.
However, the main talking point from the match was Radley's ill-discipline, which is almost certain to cost him a place in the NSW team for the upcoming State of Origin series.
“It was frustrating the way that we approached the game, the way that we played the game and the way that we managed the game," Robinson said.
Match: Roosters v Broncos
Round 11 -
Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground*, Sydney
”Obviously discipline for us was poor so there was no rhythm to the game, our execution of opportunities was poor, the stopping of opportunities was poor, we had a chance to manage our way back into it but we were just too emotional."
Radley was sin-binned for high shots on Kelly and Pangai in the 12th and 42nd minutes and also placed on report for tackles later in the match on Brisbane halfback Tyson Gamble and winger Xavier Coates.
Centre Joey Manu was also placed on report for two high tackles, along with prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Isaac Liu.
Brisbane prop Matt Lodge finished the match in the sin bin for a high tackle on Radley, while halfback Gamble was placed on report for a crusher and binned in the 80th minute after repeated infringements by the Broncos.
Robinson concedes Radley may need to change approach
Robinson said the Radley, who will have loading on any judiciary charges after last month being found guilty of a grade one careless high tackle, may need to change his tackling style under the NRL's tough new edict on high contact.
"As far as I know they aren’t changing so he is going to have to get it in check," Robinson said.
"I think it is just trying to work out how to be physical in this game and you just can’t go that high. You have just got to make sure you get it lower.
"I don’t think it was intentional, obviously on any of those, but there were maybe four penalties for high tackles. It is hard for those guys who want to create a physical contest."
However, Pangai showed that forwards can still be intimidating and play with menace as he got under the skin of Radley and prop Waerea-Hargreaves.
Radley charged twice, facing 2-5 weeks out
Pangai also ensured a tough night for Walker after Brisbane coach Kevin Walters moved him to the left edge to target the 18-year-old halfback.
“We like to play to our strengths when we can at the Broncos and we see Tevita as one of those strengths," Walters said. "It doesn’t matter who is in front of him, he is always going to make someone’s night uncomfortable and difficult.
“We have seen that several times this year from Tevita and tonight was one of those nights. He did that extremely well and was in the thick of a lot of things that were good about the Broncos as well."
Asiata beats Tedesco and the dead-ball line
Pangai signalled Brisbane’s intent when he crossed in the fifth minute for a disallowed try from a Gamble kick and then engaged in some push and shove with Radley before bumping off Walker and Sitili Tupouniua to put Dale Copley over with a flick pass in the eighth minute.
Radley was sent for his first stint in the sin bin five minutes later after a late tackle on Kelly, which referee Peter Gough described as “high and forceful”, and veteran Kumuls winger David Mead scored the first of his three tries while the Roosters were down to 12 men.
Tedesco brilliance puts Tupou over
The return of Radley coincided with the most dominant period of the match by the Roosters as James Tedesco laid on three tries in 10 minutes for Angus Crichton, Daniel Tupou and Tupouniua to put the home side in front for the first time.
However, the Broncos went to half-time with a 16-14 lead after Mead intercepted a Walker pass and raced 95 metres to score in the 39th minute.
Radley was given his marching orders for a second time just two minutes after the re-start for a high shot on Pangai, who had again aimed his run at Walker on the previous tackle, and the Broncos once more took advantage when John Asiata pounced on a Kelly grubber to score.
Asiata then turned provider to lay on a 60th minute try for rookie second-rower Keenan Palasia and Brisbane survived the late sin-binning of Lodge and Gamble to run out 34-16 winners after another long-range Mead try.
Kelly, the former Cronulla and Gold Coast playmaker, was a standout in his first NRL appearance for seven years as the Broncos spoilt celebrations for retired Roosters hooker Jake Friend and the debut of 17-year-old sensation Joseph Suaalii.
“I thought it was a good solid start by Joe," Robinson said. "He should have had a try assist and had good defensive plays on his side. He covered his side really well and got started."