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3 days ago
A DISAPPOINTING first half has punished the Broncos after they fell 27-18 to the Warrington Wolves in a World Club series exhibition match in England this morning.
Brisbane made too many mistakes and were out-enthused by a Wolves outfit led by former Bronco Ashton Sims.
The performance will give coach Wayne Bennett plenty to think about - especially with his front row rotation - as he trims the squad for the Broncos' season opener against the Sharks on March 2.
Top liners Adam Blair, Korbin Sims and Kodi Nikorima all played well back in Australia last night as a Broncos' outfit belted Wynnum 44-4.
Bennett will not be happy with the Broncos' fundamentals as they dropped balls and gave up four-pointers with defensive errors in the first half, handing Warrington four tries and a 24-6 halftime lead.
"We had some silly attacking errors and poor defensive errors," said Sam Thaiday after the game.
"They played really well and we have some things to fix before round one."
The Wolves didn't score a try in the second stanza but held on for a much-deserved victory in front of their rapturous home fans.
Stung into action by their first poor half, centre James Roberts produced a much-needed individual effort straight after the break.
From a set scrum, Roberts stepped past his man and launched the after burners, running 90 metres to score to cut it back to 24-12.
From there the game deteriorated - a couple of skirmishes involving several players demonstrating there was plenty of feeling in a game that essentially was just a trial.
The Wolves crept further ahead with first a field goal and then a penalty goal making it 27-12 with 14 minutes left.
With eight minutes to go David Mead cleaned up a Warrington mistake off a Darius Boyd grubber.
Jordan Kahu kicked the conversion, but the Broncos still needed to score twice which was a bridge too far.
It had been a dream start for the home team, who scored three tries in the first 17 minutes and added a penalty for a 20-0 lead.
They got a gift when lock Joe Westerman charged down a Ben Hunt kick and ran 70 metres before Kevin Brown went over from dummy half in the second minute.
They added a penalty straight after for 8-0.
Poor defence handed them the next two tries.
Roberts missed his opposite Ryan Atkins in the 13th minute and when elusive winger Matthew Russell zipped infield to score it was suddenly 20 blot.
The Broncos finally got going in the 25th minute.
Andrew McCullough chipped over on the last to Kahu, who shovelled it to Anthony Milford before Corey Oates finished in the corner.
Kahu launched the conversion from the corner and it was 18-6.
The Wolves correctly got the benefit of a benevolent try call from referee Phil Bentham call when winger Tom Lineham dived at the line and was short, but the video referee could not find evidence he failed to ground the ball.
This article originally appeared at www.broncos.com.au.