Baby Broncos’ win delights coach Griffin
Brisbane returned to second spot on the NRL ladder in fine style on Sunday as the Queensland giants’ latest crop of young talent guided the Broncos to a 40-22 win over Sydney Roosters.
In a game marred by a series of controversial calls by match officials Matt Cecchin and Adam Devcich and video referee Bernard Sutton, Anthony Griffin’s under-strength side deserved their victory achieved despite the absence of six regulars due to State of Origin commitments.
Twenty-year-old Winger Lachlan Maranta, who is the grandson of club founder Barry Maranta and son of former Broncos and Parramatta utility Brett Plowman, led the way with a try on his debut in a team performance that delighted Griffin.
There were also strong performances from young back-rower Dunamis Lui and rookie props Mitchell Dodds and Josh McGuire, who enjoyed an all-action performance in his first ever start in the NRL, clocking up 176 metres, making 42 tackles and also being placed on report for a high shot on Daniel Mortimer.
“It was a good win for us as a club,” Griffin said.
“I’m pleased and very happy for the guys that we got something out of the game.
“It would have been easy for them to come down here and to have a close loss and then think they did something. But they refused to lose. They overcame all the hurdles.
“These guys worked very hard to earn their spots. It’s not a fluke that they’re there. It was good that we can perform like that with seven or eight players out.”
Griffin said the performance was a vast improvement on the timid display against Melbourne last month, when he rested some of his Queensland stars following the Origin opener.
“It was important we won because we let ourselves down in Melbourne two weeks ago,” he said.
“We didn’t have so many out today, but we were in a similar position.
“That was our worst performance of the year so it was important that we showed some character here.”
Griffin was measured in his assessment of Peter Wallace, who had an exceptional game at halfback, leading the team around superbly in the driving rain and scoring a try and kicking six goals.
“He did what a halfback should do in those conditions and I was very pleased with how both our halves played,” he said.
Wallace, who was the Broncos’ oldest player at 26, said he was happy with his current form, and philosophical about missing out on the NSW side to Mitchell Pearce.
“I’m fine with it, there are two halves there that deserve their places and hopefully they can get a win there on Wednesday night,” Wallace said.
Roosters coach Brian Smith played down the spray he received from an angry supporter after his side slipped to a fourth successive defeat but admitted his side’s season is in danger of slipping away.
“It feels like that,” Smith said.
“We’ve probably got to win seven games from where we are now, maybe eight. There’s plenty of time left if we’re good enough.
“I heard the abuse but that goes with the territory. I don’t think there was anything offensive, it’s just what coaches commonly get when their teams aren’t winning.”© AAP 2013
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