The Broncos have charged into the top four and made a huge statement in the process with a 36-14 win over the Eels at CommBank Stadium.
With skipper Adam Reynolds at his scheming best and Payne Haas making a powerhouse return after two games out, the Broncos climbed to 26 points on the back of their 12th win of the season.
A couple of early errors by the Broncos proved costly as Shaun Lane put the ball on a platter for Maika Sivo to open the scoring in the fifth minute.
The Broncos hit back six minutes later when they chose to run the ball on the last and Brenko Lee put in a grubber and then toed the rebound forward for Corey Oates to scoop it up and score his 15th try of the season.
Come the 20th minute and Haas celebrated his return from a shoulder injury when he powered over from 20 metres out after taking a nice pass from fellow prop Pat Carrigan.
Chant goes up for Sivo early
Broncos skipper Reynolds put his stamp on the match in the 23rd minute when he laid on a try for Jordan Riki with a perfectly placed grubber and the visitors were out to an 18-4 lead.
Eels centre Will Penisini was sin binned for a professional foul in the 33rd minute and the Broncos capitalised immediately, Ezra Mam putting a rampaging Kurt Capewell over for a 24-4 advantage.
Staring down the barrel of a 20-point half-time deficit the Eels hit back through left centre Waqa Blake, who finished off some slick hands from Mahoney, Junior Paulo, Mitch Moses, Clint Gutherson and Lane.
Ezra brilliant pass for Capewell try
The Eels made a disastrous start to the second half when Lane and Blake got in each other's way trying to catch the kick off and Reynolds made them pay with a cross field kick for Oates to fly high and score.
A second try for the night to Sivo in the 53rd minute gave the home fans hope but a disallowed try for obstruction eight minutes later put paid to any thoughts of a miracle comeback.
The Eels continued to throw all they had at Brisbane but superb defence by Kotoni Staggs and Jordan Pereira on the right edge kept the line intact.
In the 70th minute it was Staggs dislodging the ball from Gutherson's grasp with a big hit and Reynolds feasting on the scraps to take Kevin Walters' men out to a 36-14 lead.
The Broncos have leapfrogged the Storm into fourth spot for the time being and have all but secured their top-eight spot, a stunning turnaround from last year's 7-17 season which saw them languishing in 14th spot.
Penisini sent to the sin bin
- Maika Sivo has scored 11 tries in eight games against Brisbane and 32 in 32 games at CommBank Stadium.
- Broncos winger Corey Oates has scored 14 tries in his past 12 NRL games.
- Eels centre Will Penisini was sin binned in the 33rd minute for a professional foul, holding down Ezra Mam too long after the Broncos had burst into the back field.
- Payne Haas produced a magnificent first half in his return from injury, charging for 137 metres from 13 runs. He finished the night with 202 metres.
- The Broncos' previous two visits to CommBank Stadium had resulted in a 26-12 loss in round 19, 2020 and a demoralising 58-0 defeat in week one of the 2019 finals.
Match: Eels v Broncos
Round 19 -
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
- The Broncos dominated possession with nine straight sets between the 19th and 28th minute of the match.
- Jordan Riki continued his strong season for Brisbane with 105 running metres and 31 tackles.
- Reed Mahoney got through a mountain of work in defence for the Eels with 43 tackles while Isaiah Papali'i made 38.
- The Broncos completed 34 of 40 sets at 85 per cent.
- Thomas Flegler was enormous off the bench for Brisbane with 14 runs for 133 metres in 53 minutes of game time.
Oates gets down low in the wet
Play of the Game
Big men Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas combined for a stunning try midway through the first half to extend Brisbane's lead to eight points. Wally Lewis Medal winner Carrigan took the ball 20 metres out from the Eels line and stood in a Reed Mahoney tackle before getting a right-handed flick pass away to Haas. Looking to make a mark in his first game back from shoulder problems, Haas exploded from a standing start to leave Mahoney and Isaiah Papali'i in his wake and dot down for his first try of the season. In the heavyweight showdown with the much vaunted Parra pack it was the Broncos' dynamic duo with a huge statement.
Payne Haas is back
What They Said
“We've still got some work to do but tonight was a good performance from us. There's been good momentum at the club and to get those elite Origin guys in it was a good effort. We got away to a good start and continued it in the second. When you've got the momentum you need to pick up the points so it was good for us. The good teams make you pay and we did that in the second half. We knew the possession would swing and it was up to us to defend that. I thought Corey Oates on that left side, him and Brenko Lee continually showed up and shut the play down.” - Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos: Round 19
“First half I thought we started alright but six tries against us, you can't have six tries put on us. I thought we had good energy in the second half. We couldn't catch the ball off the kick off and I thought it put us on the back foot. We still had a couple of chances on the left edge that we should've iced. There's no excuses once we get out there, that 80 minutes, it doesn't matter what happened during the week [with speculation around the coach's future and Mitch Moses being trolled online]. Certainly no excuses and that didn't play a part. We prepared the same as we do every other week." - Eels coach Brad Arthur
Eels: Round 19
The Eels face a blockbuster clash with the Panthers at CommBank Stadium in Round 20. Parramatta are the only team to take down the premiers in 2022, getting home 22-20 in a cracking contest at BlueBet Stadium in Round 9.
The Broncos have four of their final six games on home turf at Suncorp Stadium, starting with Wests Tigers in Round 20