Brisbane’s baby Broncos have overcame a whirlwind hat-trick of tries to Cronulla’s Josh Morris to record a dramatic 24-22 NRL win over the Sharks on Sunday.
Five-eighth Jake Turpin swooped on a great Tevita Pangai offload to level the scores with just over five minutes left and Kotoni Staggs kicked the conversion.
The Sharks scored five tries to four at Pointsbet Stadium, but Chad Townsend missed four kicks at goal while Staggs nailed all of his conversion attempts.
Cronulla lost captain Paul Gallen and back Matt Moylan to injuries during the game.
The Broncos snapped a three-match losing streak and increased the Sharks’ run of defeats to three.
Morris bagged his first hat-trick since his Bulldogs days in 2012, notching all three in a ten-minute spell, as the Sharks poured on 14 unanswered points in the third quarter to lead 22-12 after trailing 12-8 at halftime.
But Payne Haas crashed over for a try on the hour and the injury-hit Sharks couldn’t regain the momentum.
An incident involving Sharks replacement Kyle Flanagan and Brisbane prop Matt Lodge looks likely to attract post-match scrutiny.
Flanagan appeared to catch Lodge with a knee to the head and the Bronco lashed out with his foot.
The early buzz centred around 18-year-old Broncos winger and debutant Xavier Coates, who flew above Morris to score a spectacular opening try of the game.
He almost had another later in the half after another aerial duel with Morris, but was ruled to have knocked on.