25 May 2019

Warriors held try-less at Mt Smart

10:02 pm on 25 May 2019

Anthony Milford has scored a brilliant solo try to give Brisbane an 8-2 win over the Warriors in a NRL arm-wrestle in Auckland.

Issac Luke punches the ground after dropping the ball in the final seconds of the match.
Vodafone Warriors v Brisbane Broncos. NRL Rugby League. Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. Saturday 25 May 2019. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

The lowest-scoring game of the season was decided when Broncos five- eighth Milford stepped inside a tired Ligi Sao, breaking the shackles of a defence-dominated contest at the three-quarter mark.

Anthony Siebold's men resolutely held out to secure a third-straight win at a crucial time, with State of Origin commitments set to chew into their playing ranks.

All of Brisbane's Origin contenders did their selection hopes no harm, with forwards Matt Lodge, Payne Haas, Matt Gillett and Joe Ofahengaue among their best in a fierce battle.

All ran more than 100 metres, with Blues hopeful Haas the best of them again, the teenage prop charging for 204m and making 35 tackles.

Milford's slim Maroons hopes were boosted by his try, although he was relatively muted for much of the game, with the Warriors having shaded possession on the back of a favourable penalty count.

Kodi Nikorima was lively in his first home game for the Warriors but was well contained by his former club.

There was a flashpoint when five-eighth Nikorima was lowered in a coat-hanger tackle from Kotoni Staggs which resulted in the teams coming together and the Broncos' centre being placed on report.

Adding to the Warriors' woes, utility Jazz Tevaga limped out of the game late in the first half with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

The tone of the match was set when Haas was driven back by five Warriors in the first play of the game.

Both teams failed to convert their chances, resulting in a 2-2 halftime scoreline, with Broncos winger Jamayne Isaako cancelling out Patrick Herbert's early penalty goal on the stroke of the break.

When the try came, it was surprisingly simple and against the run of play, with Milford taking the ball as first receiver and barely being touched.