Rugby League

Broncos smash hoodoo as Storm left reeling by Papenhuyzen injury

September 8, 2023 8:43 pm

[Photo Credit: NRL]

The Broncos are one win away from their first grand final berth in 17 years after a 26-0 shutout of a Storm side left devastated by a serious ankle injury to Ryan Papenhuyzen.

Trailing 20-0 with seven minutes remaining at Suncorp Stadium, the Storm had Papenhuyzen taken from the field on a medicab after he came reeling out of a tackle in agony.

With Payne Haas and Pat Carrigan providing the muscle and Reece Walsh the magic, the Broncos snapped a 14-game losing run against the Storm to earn themselves a week off.

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Early mistakes by Nick Meaney and Eli Katoa put the Storm under serious heat and the Broncos capitalised through Kotoni Staggs, who left four defenders in his wake on a powerful charge to the tryline.

A perfectly weighted kick by Cameron Munster earned the Storm a repeat set but Adam Reynolds returned serve with a 50-metre line dropout that found the touchline and the Broncos had a scrum feed.

With rain falling the ball handling became tougher and the Storm wasted an attacking opportunity when Tui Kamikamkica coughed the ball up five metres out from the Broncos line.

A strong hit over the top by Kamikamica on Kurt Capewell forced a Broncos error and the Storm marched downfield and looked to have opened their account through Xavier Coates but replays showed the winger had lost the ball on his way to the ground.

The Storm then gifted the home side two points in the 38th minute when Papenhuyzen put a short dropout out on the full and Reynolds knocked the penalty goal over for 8-0.

Reynolds then launched an audacious two-point field goal attempt from 47 metres out with seconds remaining on the clock but the kick fell just short.

The Storm had an early chance to post points in the second half but a poor grubber by Harry Grant close to the line let Brisbane off the hook.

Broncos fullback Walsh then stamped his class on the match when he showed some fancy footwork to evade Young Tonumaipea and carried Munster over the line for his ninth try of the season as the score blew out to 14-0.

A penalty against Katoa for late contact on Walsh after a clearing kick invited the Broncos into the red zone again and Walsh put Jordan Riki into a hole for a try that stretched the home side’s lead to 20-0.

With 14 minutes to go the Storm had another chance to finally post points but Nelson Asofa-Solomona dropped the ball cold to bring the Broncos faithful to their feet in celebration.

More drama for the Storm with 10 minutes remaining when Coates limped from field with an ankle injury before Marion Seve and Trent Loiero clashed heads and both left the field for head injury assessments.

Papenhuyzen then suffered his injury and left the field on a medicab before Cobbo crossed wide out and Reynolds converted to make it 26-0.