The Brisbane Broncos have kept their strong record going at Shark Park after a tough 20-16 victory over the Cronulla Sharks in front of a healthy crowd of over 14,000 fans.
The game started in the worst possible fashion for the Sharks when the Broncos scored after just 60 seconds despite not even having a set of six before scoring. The Sharks complete a good first set but it came undone when a charging Tevita Pangai Junior came through and charged down a Chad Townsend kick and Pangai Junior stormed through got the bounce and raced through untouched to score the opener.
The visitors added a second try on the ten minute mark when Anthony Milford got down low to get to the line off the back of a good looking short ball from Matt Lodge and they went out to a 12-0 lead in as many minutes. Anthony Milford was heavily involved in the next play but not in a positive way for the Broncos when he was sent to the sin bin by referee Matt Cecchin after Anthony Milford went too long in an important tackle on Sione Katoa who had raced 60m downfield.
Cronulla could only take advantage of the extra man once and that came when Queensland star Valentine Holmes gave a good ball out to Jesse Ramien who used the space to get down and score although we did need to wait for the bunker to confirm that Ramien had stayed in when scoring. The Broncos extended their lead out to 10 points just after the Sharks were ruled to have infringed in the ruck by Matt Cecchin. The only other potential scoring play in the first half for the Sharks came with 7 minutes to half time when Matt Cecchin used the bunker to check a very remote possibility of a try for the Sharks but as expected live Ashley Klein in the bunker ruled no try.
Brisbane's second half got off to a poor start, failing to complete either of their first two sets of the second half and invited the Sharks into the game with the errors. The Sharks and their fans thought they'd capitalised on this advantage when Valentine Holmes streaked through the middle untouched to score but to the dismay of the fans it was called back by Matt Cecchin who was tipped off by the touch judge of a forward pass.
The Broncos then got momentum as they went up field but seemingly let the pressure off the Sharks when they added a second penalty goal after having the Sharks in all sorts defending on their own line. The negative tactics of the Broncos came back to bite them on the backside as the Sharks began to gain some momentum off the back of the Broncos negativity. The Sharks were catapulted upfield off the back of a brilliant dummy half run from James Segeyaro before on the next tackle the Sharks shifted it left instead of a last tackle kick and with some good hands it went out to Ricky Leutele who scored in the corner.
The home side then leveled things up with just over 15 to go when James Segeyaro turned on the magic again when he looked to go to the left before a remarkable switch pass that words can't accurately describe which put Wade Graham through a hole untouched to score.
Brisbane then secured the victory with ten minutes to go when an questionable pass from Darius Boyd to Corey Oates was let go by the officials and Corey Oates when hard and low at the corner and reached out to put the ball down. The initial thought from everyone was that Oates had gone into touch however the officials thought Oates had pulled off the impossible and kept himself off the ground and had every part of the body over the sideline bar the arm carrying the ball and it was grounded. The Sharks tried to get back into the game and were relatively unlucky at the end of the game but the Broncos held on to secure the victory.
The Broncos will take on the Raiders in their next game in a fortnight's time after the rep weekend whilst the Sharks travel to Auckland to take on the Warriors in NZ.