Sport Rugby League Barba stars as Broncos down Knights in NRL

Barba stars as Broncos down Knights in NRL

Ben Barba
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A superb defensive effort at Hunter Stadium helped Brisbane end a two-game losing streak on Friday night.

In front of a Good Friday crowd of 22,254, the Broncos’ goalline defence was first class in the 32-6 victory over Newcastle.

Hooker Andrew McCullough led the way with 59 tackles, of which 38 came in the first 40 minutes.

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Lock Matt Gillett was outstanding, scoring a try and made the most run metres (178) as well as producing 40 tackles while captain Corey Parker turned in another tradesman-like performance.

Fullback Ben Barba put in his finest game for his new club in scoring a try, playing a hand in two and putting his small frame on the line to hold up props Willie Mason and Adam Cuthbertson over the line in the first half.

The Knights were not bad and their attack looked sharp at times but they just ran into one of the best defensive performances seen this season.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Mason was placed on report for a shoulder charge on Parker early in the second half.

Brisbane scored first through second-rower Alex Glenn from a crossfield kick by halfback Ben Hunt for a 4-0 lead after 15 minutes.

The Knights almost scored a freakish try from the re-start when Hunt allowed the ball to bounce only for it to turn a horrible right angle before winger Dale Copley grounded the ball just in time.

Brisbane went to an 8-0 lead in the 23rd minute when Barba turned the ball inside for Gillett to beat Mason to score next to the posts. Parker converted for a 10-0 lead.

Barba gave Brisbane a 14-0 lead after winger Daniel Vidot did well to stay in the field of play in the 30th minute. Parker converted for a 16-0 scoreline.

A barnstorming run by Newcastle forward Korbin Sims ended with him crashing over to leave the Knights trailing 16-6 at halftime.

The Broncos scored the try of the match in the 63rd minute when Barba, Gillett and Justin Hodges combined to send Copley over for a 20-6 lead.

A penalty goal to Parker made it 22-6 before late tries to Ben Hannant and Josh Hoffman gave Brisbane a comfortable win.

Barba gave his team a scare when he suffered an ankle injury late in the game but finished the match.