The Broncos continued their unbeaten start to the season with a blistering 46-12 win over Wests Tigers at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
The last time Brisbane started a season 5-0 was 1998, when they went on to win the inaugural NRL premiership with current coach Kevin Walters calling the shots in the halves alongside Allan Langer.
Playing in his 50th NRL game, Jordan Riki got the scoring started for the Broncos when he stepped past Luke Brooks to dot down for the ninth try of his career.
In the 16th minute the home side jumped to a 10-0 lead when Ezra Mam put in a perfectly timed grubber for Kurt Capewell to score before Payne Haas powered over from dummy half to make it 16-0.
The Tigers got themselves into an attacking position in the 30th minute but a John Bateman offload was spilt by Isaiah Papali'i and Selwyn Cobbo pounced, racing 85 metres to score Brisbane's fourth.
Another try from a grubber came the Broncos' way in the 35th minute when livewire fullback Reece Walsh nudged the ball through for Riki to score his second of the night.
Riki gets his second
Down 28-0 at the break the Tigers found the line four minutes into second half when Brandon Wakeham launched a bomb for Papali'i to follow through and score his first try as a Tiger.
The Broncos then went left in the 47th minute and Walsh's speed got him outside Wakeham and he put the ball on a platter for Herbie Farnworth to cross. Adam Reynolds' conversion made it 34-6 to Brisbane.
When Walsh surged into a hole and set up Kotoni Staggs for a try the Broncos had raced to a 40-6 lead as they continued to pile on the punishment.
Papali'i gets the Wests Tigers going
The Tigers had a second for the night when Jake Simpkin slid over from dummy half after Adam Doueihi had been held up just short of the line. Doueihi converted to make it 40-12.
Wakeham then earned the Tigers a repeat set with a deft kick into the in-goal but the Broncos went the short dropout and Farnworth flew high to tap the ball down to Keenan Palasia.
Continuing his dazzling form Walsh got clear with five minutes to play and kicked back infield for Mam but the five-eighth was unable to control the bouncing ball and that chance went begging but the Broncos had their eighth soon after when Reynolds set up Staggs with an inch perfect grubber.
Match: Broncos v Wests Tigers
Round 5 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
- The Broncos finished the night with nine line breaks to the Tigers' two.
- Broncos back-rower Jordan Riki celebrated his 50th game in style with two tries, two tackle breaks and 23 tackles.
- Reece Walsh continued his dazzling start to 2023 with 165 run metres, three try assists and two line break assists.
- Payne Haas went on report in the 70th minute for a dangerous tackle.
- Tigers forward Fonua Pole was placed on report in the 24th minute for a dangerous tackle.
Mam grubbers and Capewell's there
- A crowd of 27, 553 was on hand at Suncorp Stadium to see the Broncos go 5-0 to start a season for the first time since 1998.
- Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs has scored five tries in his past four games.
- The Tigers have started the season 0-5 for the past two years. They opened their 2022 account on Easter Monday against the Eels and will be hoping for a similar result in Round 6.
- Adam Doueihi tried hard all night at fullback for the Tigers with 143 metres from 16 runs and three tackle breaks.
Play of the Game
Payne Haas was all but unstoppable in his opening 31-minute stint, making 114 metres from 12 runs and scoring a freakish try in the 20th minute that showcased all his athleticism, skill and power. When fellow prop Pat Carrigan took the ball to the line and offloaded, Haas showed great hands to pick up the half-volley before setting sail for the line and getting a pass away to Billy Walters, who was tackled 10 metres out. Not resting on his laurels from the 12-metre charge, Haas jumped into dummy half and made a mess of the Tigers' goal line defence to plunge over for the eighth try of his career.
Payne Haas does it all
What They Said
"I'm really pleased for everyone involved with the club [that we have started 5-0], particularly the players because they are the ones working the hardest, physically and mentally. They are just stats, we need to keep going, I can feel it amongst them, they're a really good group of fellas and they just want to keep going and keep getting better. We're a dangerous footy team when we get things right." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos: Round 5
"I thought Adam Reynolds was the difference. His direction of the play, his choice of when to kick and when to run. He's obviously been a good buy for the Broncos... We were down to something like 18 per cent possession halfway through the first half and that just gassed us, we had no ball at all. I still think with an even share of possession we've still got the team to win some games but we have stop making those simple errors in the first 20 minutes that break their hearts. But I'll never give up on this group." - Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens
Wests Tigers: Round 5
The Broncos face the Raiders at Suncorp Stadium in Round 6 while the Tigers square off with the Eels in the traditional Easter Monday clash at Accor Stadium.