Brisbane Broncos won a massively controversial game tonight at ANZ Stadium, beating South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-25 with the benefit of a late field goal from Anthony Milford that should have been disallowed because he appeared to knock the ball on as he caught it on the half-volley.
It was one of several 50-50 decisions that seemed to go against the Rabbitohs, who had begun the game strongly, faded in the second part of the first half, but then came out strongly in the second half and were unlucky not to claim a victory.
They came out of the traps strongly and were the first to score a try after six minutes, when Broncos winger David Mead failed to hold on to a South Sydney bomb and Sam Burgess was the first to the ball on the ground and passed to Cook who was in space to touch down. Bryson Goodwin converted.
They almost scored again three minutes later when Cody Walker touched down, but the bunker ruled that George Burgess had been offside in the play.
The Broncos then appeared to be taking control with two tries by Corey Oates in the corner, with Anthony Milford converting the first, and then Korbin Sims scored from an offside position from a Milford kick after he was played onside by John Sutton making a play for the ball. Milford added a later penalty for an 8-18 scoreline at half-time.
The Rabbitohs stormed back in the second half, with Robert Jennings and Angus Crichton both touching down, with Goodwin converting the second to tie the scores.
And when Siosifa Talakai touched down on 60 minutes, with Goodwin converting, the Rabbitohs were in the driving seat at 24-18.
But the bunker turned down a Goodwin try for pushing James Roberts and at the other end it approved a controversial try to Tautau Moga after the ball had come free from Milford on the Souths line, with the Rabbitohs players claiming that the tackle on Milford had been completed.
Milford converted, and then added his late field-goal to leave the Souths supporters bemused and frustrated.
Rabbitohs: 1 Alex Johnston, 21 Hymel Hunt, 3 Robert Jennings, 4 Siosifa Talakai, 5 Bryson Goodwin, 11 John Sutton, 6 Cody Walker, 8 Thomas Burgess, 9 Damien Cook, 17 George Burgess, 10 Kyle Turner, 12 Angus Crichton, 13 Sam Burgess (c); Interchange: 14 Robbie Farah, 15 Jason Clark, 16 Zane Musgrove, 19 Cameron Murray.
Broncos: 1 Darius Boyd (c), 2 Corey Oates, 3 James Roberts, 4 Tautau Moga, 17 David Mead, 6 Anthony Milford, 7 Kodi Nikorima, 16 Herman Ese’ese, 9 Andrew McCullough, 10 Adam Blair, 14 Alex Glenn, 12 Matt Gillett, 13 Josh McGuire; Interchange: 11 Sam Thaiday, 15 Joe Ofahengaue, 8 Korbin Sims, 21 Jonus Pearson.
A full review of all the weekend’s NRL action and a preview of Tuesday’s Anzac Day matches will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express