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The Broncos continue to match motors with Penrith at the top of the table after a 30-14 win over the Cowboys at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday.

With Jock Madden doing a fine job deputising for Adam Reynolds, and Ezra Mam again electric, the Broncos racked up their 16th win of the season.

The Cowboys looked to have made the perfect star when Kyle Feldt launched himself into the corner but he was denied by some desperate Kotoni Staggs cover defence.

Just a minute later the Broncos marched down field and opened their account through Jesse Arthars try courtesy of a superb long ball by Madden.

There was no denying Feldt in the 13th minute after Broncos fullback Reece Walsh spilled a bomb and the ball was spun wide for the veteran flyer to score the 126th try of his career.

Jesse Arthars try 6th minute

The Broncos struck back in the 26th minute when Pat Carrigan powered onto a Billy Walters short ball to post tries in back-to-back matches having waited 78 games for his first.

Cowboys winger Semi Valemei came up with a big play to deny Herbie Farnworth a try three minutes before the break and a Chad Townsend penalty goal on the stroke of half-time closed the gap to 12-6.

The Broncos extended their lead to eight points early in the second half when Staggs popped over a penalty goal after Jamayne Taunoa-Brown went on report for a crusher tackle.

Great scramble from the Cowboys

Doing a fine job filling in for Adam Reynolds, it was Madden putting Carrigan into a hole in the 53rd minute and the Maroons star found Mam in support to push Brisbane out to a 20-6 lead.

The home side hit back again in the 59th minute when Tom Dearden and Murray Taulagi got the ball wide for Feldt to grab his second and the margin was back to 10 points.

Both sides then traded trysavers as the defences refused to yield in the face of some scintillating attack - Heilum Luki standing tall for the Cowboys and Mam coming up with two huge plays on his own line.

A mistake by Kurt Capewell in the play the ball handed the Cowboys a golden opportunity but they were unable to cash in and it was the Broncos who iced the win soon after when Staggs exploded into the back field and his pass found Walsh for a 24-10 lead.

The Cowboys refused to lie down and Scott Drinkwater put Heilum Luki over on the right edge but Townsend's missed conversion left the margin at 10.

With three minutes to play Feldt chipped and regathered and looked certain to score but lost the ball as the Broncos defence closed in.

A late intercept try to Selwyn Cobbo made the final score 30-14 win and takes the Broncos to 36 competition points, equal top with the Panthers, but well behind the premiers on for and against.

Match Snapshot

  • Pat Carrigan was immense for the Broncos with a try, 154 run metres, three tackle breaks and 40 tackles.
  • In his first game since Round 16 veteran Cowboys flyer Kyle Feldt ran for 206 metres and scored a double.
  • Broncos winger Jesse Arthars was ruled a Category 1 concussion after a head clash with Jake Granville in the 44th minute.
  • Cowboys forward Jamayne Taunoa-Brown went on report for a crusher tackle in the 47th minute.

What a shot from Palasia

  • Broncos five-eighth Ezra Mam has scored seven tries in his past nine games.
  • The Broncos have scored 174 points in their past five games.
  • Cowboys centres Murray Taulagi and Peta Hiku combined for 335 run metres.
  • Payne Haas led the way up front for Brisbane with 207 run metres and 41 tackles.

Kyle Feldt try 12th minute

Play of the Game

A massive defensive play by Cowboys winger Semi Valemei denied Herbie Farnworth in the 37th minute and kept the home side well and truly in the hunt. Trailing by eight at the time, the Cowboys could ill afford to concede again and Valemei showed great strength to hold Farnworth up and keep the score at 12-4. 

This try saver had chapters

What they Said

"I felt in that first 40 minutes that's probably the toughest 40 we have played this season. That was a really high standard of football. It was a great contest. I'm really pleased for Jock [Madden] more than anybody else because he has been sitting there patiently and his form at Queensland Cup has been really good and he was just waiting for his opportunity. It's his first win in a Broncos jersey so he's pretty chuffed in there about his game." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters

NRL Press Conference: Cowboys v Broncos - Round 23, 2023

"I thought we fought hard and we scored a couple of nice tries but in the end they defended better than us pretty well across the park. I thought with maybe 15 minutes to go we were coming to get them, but they didn't give us a lot of opportunities to be fair. We didn't get a shot on their tryline until the 20th minute mark and that's the discipline of a good team, which they are. They sit where they sit because they have been able to do it consistently well." - Cowboys coach Todd Payten

Cowboys: Round 23

What's Next

The Cowboys have a bye in Round 24 and then host the Sharks in the opening match of Round 25. Veteran prop James Tamou is a chance to be available for that clash.

The Broncos are back at The Gabba in Round 24 to face the Eels, who they beat 26-16 in Darwin in Round 8.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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