‘Outplayed’: Was Brisbane’s Vegas disaster a blip, or are the lights just too bright for the Broncos?


The first weekend of rugby league is wrapped up and there is much to discuss. The main talking point comes out of the second game, as the Broncos were rolled in a ten-point defeat by the Sydney Roosters.

The Broncos were outplayed in their season opener, statistically and visibly. The ball was certainly in Brisbane’s half for most of the contest, and the error count didn’t help, as Red Hill finished with a whopping 14 errors, compared to the Chooks’ eight. A six-error difference doesn’t look unbelievable, but it is huge in a game like Sunday’s when teams are fighting desperately for every inch over their opponent.

A magic show in Vegas! ????#NRLRoostersBroncos #NRLVegas pic.twitter.com/0sOwrJW5uF

— NRL (@NRL) March 3, 2024

The Broncos deserved the loss, as the Roosters were by far the superior team.

Sydney controlled the ruck much better and gave Brisbane’s attack little to nothing. Every time the Broncos had the ball in their hands, they were running from deep in their own half, and the times when they had chances down the other end, their attack just looked flat.

The only real positive that a Broncos fan can take out of this match, is their strong defence on their line, especially in the first sixty minutes. They did well to hold the Roosters to only eight points in the first half, after all the ball the Chooks had.

The Player of the Match for Brisbane was Deine Mariner, as he was as close as you could get to perfect. He was a huge part of that strong right-side defence and was one of the small group of Brisbane players that looked dangerous with the footy.

The most disappointing player from the Broncos was Ezra Mam. Mam set the tone for a poor game early, when he handed Joey Manu four points on a platter. I understand it was partially Pat Carrigan’s fault for possibly running the wrong line, but that pass should not have been thrown.

Ezra was poor during the whole game in attack, as he was very flat with the ball and his decision-making was not up to par. This was not a game for Adam Reynolds to remember either, as his decision-making on fifth tackle was horrendous.

Reynolds kicked more than a few midfield bombs that travelled a maximum of 15 meters in the air. After one or two, you’d think he would understand that kicking downfield to try and win the field position battle is the better option.

Selwyn Cobbo’s average game proved that centre is not his best position and should be moved back out onto the wing immediately, in exchange for Mariner. Mariner’s well-played game had nothing to do with him being on the wing and he can do even more damage in the centres.

A gift for Joey Manu! ????#NRLRoostersBroncos #NRLVegas pic.twitter.com/8Ch5EgpOGF

— NRL (@NRL) March 3, 2024

Mariner and Cobbo could be a lethal wing/centre duo, as Deine has the ability to break tackles and poke his head through the holes of the defensive line. Having Selwyn on his outside to give the ball off to will be supreme.

The Broncos are a long way away from hitting a panic button, however, it felt like the 2020-21 attack all over again. Their flatness with the ball was an unpleasant sight to see and needs to be fixed. The Broncos have a week and a half to prepare for their home opener against the Rabbitohs in round two, so there is no excuse for not being more ready than ever to notch their first win of the season.

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