The Broncos have kicked a late penalty at Suncorp Stadium to inflict a seventh loss of the season on the Bulldogs and snatch a fifth win for themselves, as they remain in the top eight.
It is difficult to know where to start with a game that will be a talking point in rugby league circles for the remainder of the week. Firstly, it would have been nice to watch a game on a field where players were able to maintain their footing and balance in order to complete tackles and attacking movements.
The surface was a disgrace and from early on in the game it was clear that if a player was forced to change direction their chances of staying balanced were minimal. The Bulldogs had the best of the early minutes and grabbed the first try through Rhyse Martin who had a positive first grade debut and the conversion put the Dogs out by six after 5 minutes.
The Broncos levelled after 15 minutes as Corey Oates crossed out wide and a Moses Mbye penalty gave the blue and whites the lead back at the half-hour point. The Broncos threw wave after wave at the Dogs as the first half drew to a conclusion and a bizarre error by Darius Boyd, caused by another loss of footing strangely enough, was pounced on by Marcelo Montoya who sent Matt Frawley over to score.
The conversion put the boys from Belmore up 14-6 at the break and the Suncorp crowd were stunned as the visitors walked off with their chests well and truly out.
Of course the Broncos would come back hard and an early second-half try to Alex Glenn after a poor defensive effort by Kieran Foran saw things tighten up and a subsequent penalty for the Broncos had things locked 14-14.
At that point the players may well have walked off the field and let the referees take over, because that is what they did. The poor decisions dripped from the whistles over the last thirty minutes of the match and ruined what, to that point , had been a good contest.
Then from an innocuous set, a Canterbury kick was knocked on by the Broncos on their own twenty and even as Jamayne Isaako stopped, stunned by his own error, the referees ruled a knock back. A subsequent piggy-back penalty against Brett Morris saw the scores level at 14.
Jack Bird fell victim to the crap surface and replacement Kerrod Holland scooped up the slops in the 65th minute to score with the conversion putting the Bulldogs clear by six.
Isaako converted a late Jo Ofahengaue try after sustained Broncos attack and some questionable calls and the scores were tied at twenty.
Irrespective of your viewpoint or allegiance, the flow of decisions would raise the ire of any league supporter and the Bulldogs’ faithful will be up in arms tonight.
With a minute remaining and the Broncos in attack, they launched a hopeful kick that bounced into the in-goal area and was knocked dead by the defence. Moses Mbye was adjudged to have interfered with the chaser and a penalty was awarded from directly in front.
It was coolly slotted by Isaako and the Broncos claimed the victory.
It was another brave performance by the Dogs, despite being littered with handling errors and poor completions and one that once again sees them take nothing away from a game in which they had a real chance to win.
Next week sees the re ignition of another traditional rivalry when the Bulldogs take on the Eels on Friday night.
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Broncos 22 Bulldogs 20