St George Illawarra Dragons pulled off the shock of the finals so far by knocking out the in-form Brisbane Broncos with a 48-18 win to set up a semi-final with South Sydney Rabbitohs next week.
Three penalties were kicked in the opening 20 minutes: Two for Jamayne Isaako and one for Gareth Widdop.
Kodi Nikromia then set up the opening try for David Fitita when he stood up Jack de Belin around halfway. Then Ben Hunt’s pass found Tariq Sims as the Dragons hit back.
The Dragons hit the front when some quick play led to Leeson Ah Mau burrowing his way under the posts. Then, when his brother Korbin gave away two quick penalties, Tariq Sims scored his second try.
Korbin was having a nightmare. He couldn’t hang onto Tariq Sims as he secured his hat-trick before half-time.
St George’s lead built once again in the second half when Tim Lafai went over.
Finally, the Broncos gained some momentum shortly after. Darius Boyd cut through before Nikorima scored himself a try.
But with ten minutes to go, Cameron McInnes kicked from dummy half for Luciano Leilua to pounce and kill the game despite Nene MacDonald’s late sin bin for a professional foul.
The Dragons even had time to score on the hooter when Zac Lomax kicked to the corner for the racing Matt Dufty.
Broncos: Boyd, Oates, Roberts, Kahu, Isaako, Milford, Nikorima, Ofahengaue, McCullough, Thaiday, Fifita, Pangai jnr, McGuire; Interchanges: Lodge, Mago, K Sims, Staggs
Tries: Fifita, Boyd, Nikorima; Goals: Isaako 3
Dragons: Dufty, MacDonald, Lomax, Lafai, Pereira, Widdop, Hunt, Graham, McInnes, Ah Mau, Frizell, T Sims, de Belin; Interchanges: Latimore, Mann, Lawrie, Leilua
Tries: T Sims 3, Ah Mau, Lafai, Leilua, Dufty; Goals: Widdop 7, Lomax 3; Sin bin: MacDonald (79) – professional foul
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.