General St George Illawarra Stun Broncos 20-4

Jesbass_old

Guest
From www.nrl.com:

St George Illawarra have inflicted Brisbane's seventh straight NRL finals defeat with a stunning 20-4 upset of the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium.

But the news was not all great for the Dragons as they may not have chief attacking weapon Mark Gasnier back until the grand final, if they make it that far.

Gasnier was taken off the field in the second half after falling to the ground with a hip problem which is expected to keep him out for 1-2 weeks.

Inspirationally led by prop Luke Bailey, the Saints ensured they lived to fight another day in the 2006 finals with the emphatic four-tries-to-one victory over the ragged Broncos.

Brisbane stormed into the finals series on the back of three straight wins but were caught on the hop by the visitors' fast-paced game as they shot out to a 10-0 lead after 24 minutes.

The loss made it the third straight year the Broncos have finished third in the NRL but failed to win their home qualifying final.

Their last play-off win was in 2002, when they still played at ANZ Stadium.

Pouring fuel on the Broncos' frustrations was a botched try by Justin Hodges which stopped a fightback in its tracks when they trailed 20-4 midway through the second half.

The fullback only needed to dive over the line after a well-worked second-man play with Darren Lockyer but inexcusably reached out to plant the ball near the left corner with one hand and lost it.

With 17 minutes left and three converted tries needed, it sounded a leg-weary Brisbane's death-knell.

In front of a near capacity crowd of 50,387, Brisbane also paid the price for soft defence close to the line with hooker Aaron Gorrell and Bailey barging over for tries.

In contrast, the visitors dug in close to their line and swarmed all over dangerman Lockyer, who played out the match despite suffering a suspected wrist injury.

"It was awesome the goal-line defence, that's what wins games," Bailey told 4BC radio.

"That was semi-final footy at its best."

The Dragons scored two tries to one in the first half but were unlucky not to be further ahead after having a try to interchange player Danny Wicks dubiously denied late in the half.

Leading 10-0, Wicks pounced on a Hodges fumble from a bomb near the Broncos line to score but the video referee ruled Ben Creagh had taken out the Brisbane fullback.

Five minutes later, Hodges made it a 10-point turnaround by shrugging off Wes Naiqama before beating two others to hook a pass to Darius Boyd to cross in the corner.

The Saints shocked the home side early with fullback Clint Greenshields scoring in the seventh minute after fantastic lead-up work by Matt Bickerstaff, Matt Cooper and Naiqama.

Hooker Gorrell extended the lead in the 24th minute when he dived over from dummy-half.

Centre Matt Cooper burnt Brent Tate on the outside in the 54th minute to all but seal the win, just nine minutes after Bailey brushed off Corey Parker and Dane Carlaw to score under the posts.
 

Skinny_Ravs82

Guest
Far out Hodges is such a...a..nevermind. How the hell he dropped the ball like that I'll never know. Am worried about Gaz thou! Hope he'll be ok, and what the heck..Lockyer playing slightly injured? Not good. Feel sorry for the thou they'll get that bad 'finals team' label again. haha
 

warriorfaithful*_old

Guest
Skinny_Ravs82 said:
Feel sorry for them thou they'll get that bad 'finals team' label again. haha

I dont think they will. They'll beat manly next weekend and be back on track. As for the dragons beating them last night i was pretty happy about it cos i picked the dragons to win :lol:

Another awesome game!!!
 

warriors4life_old

Guest
Damn, Broncos are my team for the finals, but they were really poor tonight, anyway they will get a chance next week so I hope they are a lot better.
 

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