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24 Feb 2018 14:45
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby League

    Broncos knock Penrith out of NRL finals

    Brisbane have knocked Penrith out of the NRL finals race with a 13-6 semi-final win at Suncorp Stadium.

    - article from www.rugbyleague.co.nz

    They may have finished with a one-man bench, but Brisbane are confident of lining up at full strength in next week's NRL grand final qualifier despite an injury list blowout in Friday night's 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith.

    Already without skipper Darius Boyd, Brisbane are one win away from the grand final despite losing Queensland winger Corey Oates, Maroons backrower Sam Thaiday and Gold Coast-bound forward Jai Arrow during the match - all to concussion.

    They will play premiership favourites Melbourne at AAMI Park on Friday night.

    The stage was set for Brisbane's horror injury night when Oates was heavily concussed in a sickening collision with teammate Anthony Milford in the 21st minute.

    Yet Brisbane somehow still racked up their seventh-straight finals win at Suncorp Stadium to knock the Panthers out of the finals race.

    The Broncos looked to have paid a heavy price for the win but coach Wayne Bennett expected everyone on their injured list - including fullback Boyd - to return against Melbourne.

    "All three of them (Oates, Arrow, Thaiday) will be right to play next week - I am pretty confident about that," Bennett said.

    "Darius will be very close. Tevita Pangai Junior (hamstring) will definitely be right."

    Brisbane copped a major blow to their quest to end their longest title drought when fullback Boyd pulled out of the sudden death clash after opting to sit out a second week with a hamstring injury.

    And the Broncos were reeling after Oates was floored in friendly fire with Milford.

    The 38,623-strong crowd were hushed when Oates lay motionless for minutes after being accidentally taken high by Milford running onto a pass and had to be taken off by a medicab.

    It marked Brisbane's first week two finals win since 2011.

    "We've been a bit inconsistent the last six weeks but I was proud of their effort - that was what the club is built on," Bennett said.

    The Panthers' season is over despite also bravely battling on without key stars.

    Five-eighth Tyrone May (knee) was lost on the stroke of halftime in a huge blow to a Penrith side without captain Matt Moylan for the finals.

    David Mead was outstanding as Oates' wing replacement while centre Tautau Moga monstered the Panthers in attack as Brisbane jumped to a 12-0 lead by the 47th minute when centre James Roberts scored.

    Penrith ensured a nervous finish when impressive prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard marched up the middle to score in the 64th minute and cut the deficit to 12-6.

    Winger Jordan Kahu's 70th minute field goal iced the result.

    Wayne Bennett chipped away at his lopsided record against the man he replaced as Brisbane coach in 2014 - Penrith's Anthony Griffin - with his third win in 12 games.

    "I have mixed emotions at moment," Griffin said.

    "I am so proud of the guys. They are in their first season a lot of them and they were going toe to toe with Brisbane in Brisbane."


    NZN




    © 2018 NZN, NZCity


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