The Broncos have ended the Roosters’ streak of eight wins through the sneaky dummy-half work of new signing James Segeyaro, which helped secure a 15-10 win at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.
When the 28-year-old former Shark ducked through the legs of the Roosters defenders in the 69th minute to score, the 28,288-strong Brisbane crowd erupted. The Broncos had not won back-to-back games all season until now.
Payne Haas may have been on show for NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler and Joe Ofahengaue was trialling for Queensland coach Kevin Walters, but for Broncos fans it was merely the team performance they had been waiting for from Anthony Seibold’s men.
However, with both Fittler and Walters in television commentary at the ground, Hass (223 metres, 89 post-contact) and Ofahengaue (117 metres, 40 post-contact) did themselves proud.
The premiers were down two key players in Boyd Cordner and Daniel Tupou with injuries and were backing up from the win over the Raiders at this same venue five days earlier, but it’s unclear if anyone could have stopped the Broncos freight train.
The players seemed to be in a mood and mindful that with only three wins on their ledger, as the halfway mark of the season edged closer, they needed to pick up the passion and play better football.
And that they did. There were only three tries in it but it was edge-of-your seat defence and attacking bursts.
Before some patrons had found their seats, Cooper Cronk was walking to the sideline in the second minute after being sin-binned by referee Grant Atkins for a professional foul on his old Maroons and Test teammate Darius Boyd.
It was a big couple of minutes for Boyd. He thought he’d put his winger Corey Oates over in the left corner, with the Roosters reduced to 12 men, only to have it disallowed because of his forward pass.
If anyone thought the Roosters were rattled losing their No.7 so early, they only need look at the rest of Trent Robinson’s roster.
With Cronk still off cooling his heels, Luke Keary and Joseph Manu performed a little trickery out on the right edge pretending they were shaping to grubber to the in-goal. Instead hooker Victor Radley sent a sweet pass to fullback James Tedesco, who crossed. The Roosters were up 6-0 and Cronk came back on the field.
After trying so hard for points, the Broncos decided to relax a little and just give the ball to Payne Hass. The prop ran through three Roosters defenders to score in the 15th minute – his maiden NRL try after six games – to level the scoreboard.
A penalty each and it was all locked up again 8-8 at halftime, after Boyd made a field goal attempt he’d rather forget as the hooter sounded.
Points were scarce in the second half but that made for intense football.
An Anthony Milford field goal in the 64th minute looked a little premature with so long left to play, but when Segeyaro scored to make it 15-8 it seemed like a stroke of genius.
A Latrell Mitchell penalty goal in the 74th minute got the visitors back within a converted try and at 15-10 set up a grandstand finish, but the Broncos held their nerve.
And it was a far cry from the round four humiliation the Broncos endured losing 36-4 to the Roosters at the SCG.