Brisbane Broncos are set for the first wooden spoon in their history after throwing away an early 12-0 lead to lose 32-16 to North Queensland Cowboys.
The Bulldogs overtook Brisbane last week and while Canterbury have one more game to complete, their superior points difference means the Broncos will finish bottom after a calamitous season that started so promisingly.
Brisbane got off to a flyer, racing out to their lead thanks to tries for Payne Haas and Darius Boyd, on his final professional game before retirement.
But back came the Cowboys to lead the game at the break. Jake Clifford chased down a high kick before Kyle Feldt got on the end of a spread to the right to level the game up.
With two minutes to go in the half, Justin O’Neill poked his nose through and grounded the ball to give his side the lead.
Brisbane levelled the game once again after 15 minutes of the second half when Corey Oates crossed on the left. But two more tries for Feldt, completing his hat-trick, and a try for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, after the winger had two disallowed previously in the match, sealed the Broncos’ fate.
Broncos: Boyd, Coates, Arthars, Farnworth, Kennar, Staggs, Dearden, Ofahengaue, Luke, Haas, Riki, Glenn, Carrigan; Interchanges: Paix, Te’o, Oates, Hopoate
Tries: Haas, Boyd, Oates; Goals: Staggs, Luke
Cowboys: Holmes, Feldt, Taulagi, O’Neill, Tabuai-Fidow, Drinkwater, Clifford, McGuire, Cotter, McLean, Dunn, Gilbert, Taumalolo; Interchanges: Cooper, Asiata, Jensen, Molo
Tries: Clifford, Feldt, O’Neill 3, Tabuai-Fidow; Goals: Holmes 3, Cooper
Full match reports of all this weekend’s NRL games will feature in Monday’s League Express.