Sport Rugby League Warriors end Broncos’ winning run

Warriors end Broncos’ winning run

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The Warriors have breathed fresh momentum into their NRL playoff chase after overcoming a slow start to down Brisbane 19-10 in Auckland.

The win over the Broncos, who were on a run of four successive victories that had lifted them to fifth place, pushed the Warriors to within two points of the top eight.

Brisbane had Queensland forwards Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett backing up from State of Origin 2 on Wednesday night.

However, Gillett lasted just 12 minutes before coming off with a shoulder injury.

The match was the first of three successive fixtures at Mt Smart Stadium for the Warriors, whose last outing was their defeat to South Sydney in Perth a fortnight ago.

But it was Brisbane who made the most of the early running and they profited when Warriors, in one of several errors, coughed up the ball from a bomb.

From the ensuing possession, hooker Jake Granville, in for the injured Andrew McCullough, scampered over from dummy half.

The Warriors were looking laboured in attack before Feleti Mateo provided the spark for them in the 28th minute.

Mateo’s deft short ball put fellow substitute Ben Henry into a hole for the home side’s first try.

The Warriors followed up with a long period of possession and the Broncos’ defence finally broke when blockbusting centre Konrad Hurrell forced his way past two tacklers to touch down.

Halfback Shaun Johnson landed his second conversion and then, with seconds to go til halftime, put over a long-range field goal for a 13-6 lead.

As the match began to open up in the second half, the Broncos reduced the margin in the 58th minute.

A Jack Reed break released Barba, who twice pushed off opposition fullback Sam Tomkins to score.

But the home side hit back when a short pass from their Queensland representative, Jacob Lillyman, sparked an attack that ended with five-eighth Chad Townsend dotting down.

Brisbane never gave up and it needed a huge combined tackle from Charlie Gubb and Sam Rapira to deny Ben Hannant a try with 10 minutes to go.

The win was tempered for the Warriors by having two players put on report after incidents early in the second half.

Prop Suaia Mataga’s late charge on kicker Ben Hunt was followed by centre Ngani Laumape being penalised for his role in a tip tackle on Josh McGuire.