Rugby League returns as Broncos entertain Eels

Sixty-six days after the competition was suspended, The NRL restarted with a third-round clash between Brisbane and Parramatta at Suncorp Stadium.

With a new six-to-go rule, instead of penalties, in allowed for a quicker game, as did the removal of the second referee.

After two ruck infringements from the Broncos, a third set on the bounce allowed the Eels to play on the front foot, and Marata Niukore powered through Antony Milford and Patrick Carrigan to pick up the first points of the game.

Brisbane looked to have hit back just after the 10-minute mark, as Brodie Croft kicked behind the Parramatta line for Anthony Milford. However, five-eighth failed to gather the ball in his attempt to score.

Croft then managed to level the scores with a wonderful solo effort. He stepped outside of Niukore and then outpaced Clint Gutherson and race into the corner and score.

Jamayne Isaako levelled the scores with the touchline conversion.

With the game going back and forth, each team was looking to get a grip of the match with 25 minutes gone.

The Eels were the first to get into good attacking field position, as Mitchell Moses’ kick through forced a goal-line drop-out by the Broncos.

On the last tackle, Parramatta chose to run the ball and spread it outside to Maika Sivo, who, from a standing start, managed to dive over the tackle of Jesse Arthars and ground the ball in the corner.

A third Eels try seemed to follow quickly afterwards as Gutherson swung the ball wide to Sivo, who walked in to score. The play was brought back though, as the full-back’s pass drifted forward. The score remained 6-12 with 7 minutes until the half.

The Broncos managed to hold their ground though and were close to scoring a second try of their own just a minute before the half.

Milford kicked the ball through on the last for Darius Boyd, but the centre failed to gather the ball under the pressure from Blake Ferguson.

HALF-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 6-12 Parramatta Eels

With Alex Glenn suffering a bad cut to his calf, he went off to the hospital and would not return for the Broncos.

It didn’t take long for Parramatta to extend their lead, as Clint Gutherson, dummied his way through an already tired Brisbane defence to score on the left-hand edge.

The Eels were camped inside the Broncos 20-metre line for a 5 minute period after a number of errors from Brisbane, but the home side managed to keep the visitors out.

With Brisbane clearly the most tired of the two teams, the Eels took advantage as Michael Jennings find a gap in the defensive line and powered under the posts.

Moses converted for a 16 point lead with just over 15 minutes remaining.

That lead was stretched to 22 when Shaun Lane gathered a short ball from Gutherson and charged over the top of Kotoni Staggs and Jamil Hopoate to score.

With five minutes remaining, the visitors were hammering the Broncos line and dominated the second half.

A sixth try finally came, as an attacking move down the right edge lead to Ryan Matterson breaking through a tackle, and offloading to the on-coming Waqa Blake who slid over for a try on his 100th NRL appearance.

In the final minute of play, the Eels tried to push for try number seven, but with both sets of players tiring, Gutherson nudged the ball into touch for full-time.

FULL-TIME: Brisbane Broncos 6-34 Parramatta Eels


Brisbane Broncos

Isaako, Oates, Staggs, Boyd, Arthars, Milford, Croft, Flegler, Turpin, Haas, Glenn, Hopoate, Carrigan.

Interchanges: Farnworth, Ofahengaue, Bullemor, Lodge

Tries: Croft

Goals: Isaako (1/1)

Paramatta Eels

Gutherson, Sivo, Jennings, Blake, Ferguson, Brown, Moses, Campbell-Gillard, Mahoney, Paulo, Lane, Matterson, Niukore

Interchanges: Takairangi, Stone, Evans, Terepo

Tries: Niukore, Sivo, Gutherson, Jennings, Lane, Blake

Goals: Moses (5/6)

Referee: G. Sutton

Touch Judges: B. Sharpe, P. Henderson

Video Referee: B Scott

Image Source: @NRL (Twitter)


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