The Sydney Roosters came from behind to snatch a late 24-20 win against an impressive Broncos outfit at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
Roosters five-eighth Sam Walker landed a sideline conversion to put his team ahead 18-16 just six minutes from fulltime after they had trailed 10-0 at the interval and then laid on the match winning try for second-rower Sitili Tupouniua.
Roosters centre Joey Manu scored two individual tries to get his team into the match, while Brisbane centre Kotoni Staggs was equally as inspirational for his team.
Broncos winger Corey Oates scored three tries, with his third coming just 90 seconds from fulltime to set up a thrilling finish.
Match: Broncos v Roosters
Round 5 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
- The Broncos were finally rewarded for a strong start to the match when fullback Tesi Niu put winger Corey Oates over with a cut out pass near the Roosters line in the 22nd minute.
- Winger Selwyn Cobbo had the chance to put the home team further ahead soon after but he fumbled a perfectly placed Adam Reynolds kick into the Roosters in-goal.
- A penalty against Nat Butcher for a crusher tackle on Ryan James gave the Broncos another attacking opportunity and Kotoni Staggs made the most of it with a rampaging run to the tryline six minutes before halftime.
Vintage Staggs scores a beauty
- Roosters second-rower Sitili Tupouniua had the chance to put his side on the scoreboard before halftime but couldn't maintain hold of a Joey Manu grubber into the Broncos in-goal.
- The Roosters blew another scoring opportunity five minutes after the interval when Nat Butcher lost the ball with the line wide open after being ankle tapped by Herbie Farnworth.
- The weight of second half possession eventually took its toll on the Broncos after Kurt Capewell conceded a penalty for blocking Joey Manu's pursuit of a kick and Angus Crichton put Sam Walker over for a 48th minute try.
Sam Walker gets the Roosters on the board
- Manu put the Roosters ahead for the first time in the 53rd minute after intercepting a Billy Walters pass to put his side into an attacking position and then burrowing over from dummy half to score.
- Staggs again sparked his team into action after dragging Daniel Tupou into touch and in the ensuing set of tackles Corey Oates grabbed his second try after outleaping Kevin Naiqama for an Adam Reynolds bomb.
Staggs monsters Tupou
- Manu then helped the Roosters to reclaim the lead when he charged over from dummy half in the 74th minute and Walker converted from out wide to put the visitors ahead 18-16.
- Tupouniua appeared to have sealed the win when he pounced on a perfectly weighted Walker grubber kick in the 77th minute.
Tupouniua all but seals it
- However, Oates gave the Broncos the chance to snatch a late victory when he won the race for a Reynolds kick from a 30-metre scrum win to score with 90 seconds left on the clock.
- Reynolds missed the conversion attempt and was unable to take advantage of back-to-back penalties within kicking range as the clock wound down.
Play of the game
Joey Manu carried the Roosters home with two individual tries that highlighted his sheer determination and will to win. The second came from nothing and effectively won the match for the Roosters after he beat five defenders to score in a charging run from close to the line on the last tackle.
Manu takes matters into his own hands
What they said
"If we can provide that character every week we are going to be a good footy side. We only got two good ball sets in the second half, apart from that I thought defensively we were good. Joseph Manu got two tries from dummy half so that is an area we can get better at but he is a really good player. We didn't do a whole lot wrong in that second half, I didn't think. We are still learning. We had some injuries tonight and battled on hard, which is great from my point of view. That is what we want to see from our players": Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
"I thought it was a great game. I felt like the Broncos nailed the game tonight, I felt like they came out and lots of guys had their best games of the year. I think Kotoni Staggs was Mr Olympia there, it was like 1976 again. It was incredible just watching him get out there and play but Joey Manu is a well rounded, incredible centre, who works really hard, is a great team guy but also loves moments. As a team we played really well and you've got to learn to win in lots of different ways in rugby league. You can put your foot to the floor and gap a team but you have got to win uncomfortable as well and I felt like early in the season for us, trying to find our new our new self, that was a great way to win a footy game": Roosters coach Trent Robinson.
The Broncos travel to Penrith next Friday night to take on the premiers in the biggest test of their finals credentials yet, while the Roosters host the Warriors at the SCG.
Broncos coach Kevin Walters will be sweating on the outcome of an integrity unit investigation into the late night altercation between prop Payne Haas and playmaker Albert Kelly.
Haas was again one of Brisbane's best, running a game high 204 metres and making 33 tackles, while make a try saving tackle on Nat Butcher.
Captain Adam Reynolds had ice on his knee after suffering a twinge while attempting to convert the opening try of the match, but Walters insisted he would be fit to face the Panthers, along with winger Corey Oates (ankle).
Roosters coach Trent Robinson may have prop Siosiua Taukeiaho and hooker Sam Verrills back from injury.
Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was placed on report for a leg twist on Ryan James, while Nat Butcher was reported for a crusher tackle and failed to finish the match after a head knock.