Broncos make statement with Titans mauling
THE Broncos have all but cemented their place in this year's NRL finals series, after notching up their biggest win of the year against the Titans on Sunday night.
After slipping to their Queensland counterparts in Round 4, Brisbane have reminded the Gold Coast just why they are deemed the 'big brother' of the rivalry, running away with a 34-0 victory on the Titans' home turf.
The win not only saw the Broncos move into seventh spot ahead of the Warriors - boosting their negative for-and-against by 34 points - but also appeared to lock up the top eight.
Barring any disasters over the next eight rounds, the Broncos are likely to play in their fifth straight finals series, with six points difference on the ladder between them and the ninth-placed Raiders.
It was a strong performance from the Broncos as their little brothers put in an error-riddled performance at Cbus Super Stadium.
Brisbane did not hesitate in capitalising on these mistakes, in what was one of their best attacking displays of the year.
Ahead of the match, coach Wayne Bennett said he had not seen a more talented group of forwards come through the club at one time and it was evident on Sunday night as the likes of Joe Ofahengaue, Tevita Pangai Jr, Matt Lodge and teenage monster David Fifita led the Broncos to victory.
Ofahengaue was particularly impressive filling in for Queensland forward Josh McGuire at lock, making 162m off 13 runs, three tackle busts and 29 tackles, while Lodge finished with the most metres at 173.
The solid performance from the forward pack enabled halves Anthony Milford and Kodi Nikorima to run the show.
Brisbane's biggest winning margin prior to this game was just nine points.
While there are still a few things the Broncos need to fix, including their discipline after conceding 12 penalties, this win should give them a confidence boost moving forward.
Their defence was outstanding as they kept the Titans to nil and now the key for the Broncos is to push for a top four spot.
They have lacked consistency at times this year and are yet to dominate against some of the higher placed teams.
But over the next eight rounds, the Broncos need to prove they can do this if they are to be major finals contenders.
Only four points separates Brisbane and the competition-leading South Sydney, so the chance to claim a top four finish is still there if the Broncos want it.
The first challenge will come on Sunday when they host the Warriors at Suncorp Stadium, who are sitting just below them on the same amount of points.
BRISBANE 34 (D Boyd K Nikorima J Ofahengaue J Pearson K Staggs tries J Isaako 7 goals) bt GOLD COAST 0 at Cbus Super Stadium. Referee: Henry Perenara, Adam Gee. Crowd: 18,005.