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Torn bicep puts Reynolds’ season in jeopardy as Roosters prove they're title contenders by belting battered Broncos

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3rd May, 2024
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Jesse Arthars was in hospital receiving treatment for a broken jaw before Friday night’s game was over after a self-inflicted blow in the first half. 

It was that kind of night for the Broncos but worse was to come.

Five minutes into the second half, Adam Reynolds was also staring down the barrel of a lengthy stint on the sidelines after suffering a bicep tear. 

With Angus Crichton turning back the clock to just a few years ago when he was one of the pre-eminent forwards in the NRL, the Roosters registered a rousing 40-18 win to rub insult into Brisbane’s injury woes. 

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Adam Reynolds of the Broncos is injured during the round nine NRL match between the Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium, on May 03, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)Adam Reynolds. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)[/caption]
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Former Broncos forward Corey Parker, patrolling the sidelines for Fox League, claimed there was a “considerable hole” in Reynolds’ arm where the bicep attaches to the arm and “it looks like it’s come off the bone”.

Former Wests Tigers playmaker Jock Madden has filled in for Reynolds when he’s been out but he is also in the casualty ward at the moment due to a pectoral injury he suffered last week against his former club.

Kevin Walters has the option of moving Ezra Mam to halfback, recalling the versatile Tristan Sailor in as a playmaker or bringing young gun Blake Mozer into the hooking rotation with Tyson Smoothy and switching Billy Walters to five-eighth. 

Whichever option he takes, the Broncos will struggle to go anywhere near the all-round class that Reynolds delivers in directing the team around the park.

“It’s very hard to replace Adam Reynolds with his footy IQ, his kicking game and his experience,” his former halfback foe Cooper Cronk said on Fox League. “They’ll win more than they lose, it’s just whether they can get into the finals in decent enough shape for their halfback to come back and orchestrate a Grand Final assault.”

Heading into the Origin period where they will be hampered by several players being involved, it is a major blow to their hopes of going one better than last year’s dramatic Grand Final loss to Penrith.

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“We’ve got considerable depth, I’m more concerned with the way we played tonight than anything else,” Walters said. “We’ve got plenty to work on.

“I think the ownership needs to be spread across the group. They’ll all need to step up when Reyno is not there.”

Reynolds’ deputy as skipper, Patrick Carrigan, bluntly added: “We’ll find out what we’re made of. Such is life with footy, it happens to a lot of teams and next man up.”

Crichton runs amok as Roosters rack up big score

Brisbane started the match as expected by dominating through the middle and cashing in on the edge.

NSW prop Payne Haas skittled defenders close to the posts and the visiting defence never recovered as Jordan Riki rumbled over three passes off the ruck. 

The Roosters equalised in the 12th minute when Crichton broke free down the left and they spun the ball wide for Dominic Young to snare a one-handed catch and fling the Steeden back inside to Joey Manu before he was dragged into touch.

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Arthars was flattened by his own lack of self preservation after flying at Young but colliding with his opposing winger’s shoulder. It’s a sad mid-season disruption for the former Storm winger who had been having easily his best year at the Broncos.

Walters switched Selwyn Cobbo switched to the left wing and rotated Riki to right centre. 

The Roosters went in front when Crichton crossed from close range and took an 18-6 advantage into the break when Reece Walsh capped his worst 40 minutes of the season by fumbling the ball near halfway. 

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 03: Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii of the Roosters makes a break during the round nine NRL match between Brisbane Broncos and Sydney Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on May 03, 2024, in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Joseph Suaalii makes a break. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Joseph Suaalii unveiled a superb pass for after Walsh’s error for Crichton to touch down a second time.

“I thought our resilience was really good in the first half,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said. “I really like the balance between the hardness we played with and the freedom.

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“(Crichton) is in a purple patch, that’s for sure. It’s pretty simple – he’s worked really hard and he’s really strong and powerful. He was outstanding tonight.”

Moments after Reynolds was replaced, the Broncos burst into life with two tries in the space of three minutes with Ezra Mam setting up Kotoni Staggs and then sprinting around James Tedesco after the centre repaid the favour.

The Roosters regained the momentum midway through the second half after Deine Mariner was sin-binned for a shoulder charge on Tedesco and the veteran fullback shook off the impact to send Terrell May over for a 24-18 lead a few minutes later.

Connor Watson, who started the match deputising for Victor Radley at lock and switched to hooker when Brandon Smith limped off with a calf problem in the first half, twisted his way through a two-man tackle to put the Sydneysiders up by 12 with 15 minutes remaining.

May notched a rare double and in a much more common occurrence, Young plunged over in the corner as the Roosters took advantage of the tiring Brisbane defence.

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Despite going into the match without supended prop Spencer Leniu, injured veterans Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Radley and Daniel Tupou, the Roosters have now racked up a combined 100 points in their past two starts after smashing St George Illawarra on Anzac Day.

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