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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Broncos topple fast-finishing Warriors in Napier

An off-field decision has thwarted a Warriors fightback in the dying seconds as an understrength Brisbane kept their NRL season on track with a gripping 26-22 win in Napier.

Warriors winger Marcelo Montoya’s effort in the corner on fulltime was denied by video officials because of an obstruction by Adam Pompey.

The no-try ruling left Brisbane playmaker Adam Reynolds’ brilliance to set up an Ezra Mam try in the second half as the crucial moment in a game that saw the Warriors dominate for long periods.

But home side let the Broncos feast on a host of first-half mistakes and establish a lead that was too big to pull back.

The depleted Broncos came into the game missing a host of stars including former Warrior Reece Walsh, winger Selwyn Cobbo and hard-running forwards Patrick Carrigan and Payne Haas.

Second generation Bronco Tristan Sailor lined up at fullback in Walsh’s place and he was targeted early and often by Shaun Johnson’s kicking game.

Broncos players celebrate a try.

Broncos players celebrate a try.Credit: Getty

It was galling for the sell-out crowd to not only see the Warriors squander chances in the first 20 minutes but also watch Deine Mariner pick up a fumble by Montoya to scoot 80 metres to open the scoring.

The Warriors hit back when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dived over in the corner, which Johnson converted from wide out, but a massive lapse in concentration from Tom Ale when he fumbled the resulting kick-off put them under pressure as the clock ticked down to halftime.

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