A Selwyn Cobbo hat-trick led the Broncos to a 24-16 victory over the Dolphins in a thrilling battle of Brisbane on Saturday night.
After being upset by the Titans last week, the Broncos returned to form in style in front of a crowd of 30,606 at the Gabba, with Cobbo producing a kick and chase for the ages to help his side orchestrate a late comeback.
With several of Brisbane's stars watching from the sideline, including Maroons duo Reece Walsh (suspended) and Thomas Flegler (Lisfranc), outside back Herbie Farnworth also stood up for the Brisbane powerhouse; running 145 metres with the ball and laying on two first-half tries.
Four minutes into the match the Dolphins looked to open the scoring when Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow crossed over on the edge but the try was ruled out for obstruction by Conelly Lemelu in the lead-up.
Three minutes later the Broncos took the lead with Cobbo showing the sort of form we haven't seen from him in recent weeks, out running former Bronco, Tesi Niu on the wing to put his stamp on the match early.
Cobbo scores at the Gabba
The Broncos extended their lead when Farnworth combined with halfback Adam Reynolds to power his way over left of the uprights. After missing his first conversion, Reynolds slotted one from the left to make it 10-0.
Come the 25th minute and fullback Kodi Nikorima chimed in from fullback, fooling the Broncos defence with a dummy to Tabuai-Fidow, before charging over the line to open the Dolphins' account.
But Farnworth looked out to impress his future club, once again linking up with Reynolds down the left edge and using all his strength to find the line at the Gabba and the Broncos held a 14-6 lead at the break.
Herbie drives over Te Whare
After being rolled over by Farnworth earlier in the match, Valynce Te Whare made up for it early in the second term. The Kiwi convert used all his strength to carry the ball over the stripe, bringing several Broncos down with him and the young centre brought the match back into an arm wrestle.
After 13 minutes of end-to-end footy, the Dolphins stole the lead when returning hooker Jeremy Marshall-King caught the Broncos defence napping, dummying and scooting over from close range.
Marshall-King sneaks in
But come the 68th minute and Selwyn Cobbo had the Broncos faithful on their feet when he produced two superb tries to put Kevin Walters' side back in front and seal the Round 18 derby victory.
Match: Broncos v Dolphins
Round 18 -
Venue: The Gabba, Brisbane
- Dolphins forward Felise Kaufusi was ruled out in the first-half of the match after failing a head injury assessment.
- Opposing centres Herbie Farnworth and Euan Aitken both left the field for a head injury assessment after clashing in the 78th minute of the match.
- The Broncos had 88 per cent of possession in the first half and completed 22 of 25 sets.
- Dolphins hooker Jeremy Marshall-King got through plenty of work in his first game back from injury with 32 tackles, three tackle-breaks and a try.
Herbie rides again
- Broncos outside backs Selwyn Cobbo and Herbie Farnworth had a day out at the Gabba; combining for five tries, 292 run metres and eight tackle breaks.
- The Dolphins have conceded 160 points in their past four games.
- The Broncos have won six from seven on Saturday nights this season.
- Broncos winger Selwyn Cobbo has scored 12 tries from his past 13 games.
Play of the Game
With Brisbane down by two points and just 12 minutes to play, the Queensland winger produced something out of absolutely nothing at the Gabba on Saturday night. Ball in hand, the electric No. 5 stepped inside Dolphins winger Tesi Niu, before punting a kick over Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and regathering the ball just close enough to reach over the line and score. The incredible chip and chase put the Broncos back in the lead and ignited a late charge to ensure the Broncos took home the two-points.
Cobbo, that is outrageous!
What They Said
"It was pretty gutsy of them to stay in the game, after the way we played in the last couple of weeks. We were very pleased with our effort. Hamiso (Tabuai-Fidow) is one of the best fullbacks in the game but we have a problem with our centres at the moment and we had to do something about it. He can handle that position and I thought he did a really good job there.
He's (Jeremy Marshall-King) still got a bit of a shoulder problem so I don't know how long we'll have him back for. It's a bit ongoing that one. We probably had him at about 75 per cent tonight and we may have to go the rest of the season without him, I'm not sure." - Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett.
Dolphins: Round 18
"It was much improved. We've still got a way to go but it's just important that we got back to some of our principles tonight and get the win and get the season back on track. He (Selwyn Cobb) had a terrific game all night. We know what Selwyn brings to our footy team. We haven't seen a lot of it this year for different reasons, his hip was giving him some grief, but it's the freest he's run on the field and we're just really happy he's on our side." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters
Broncos: Round 18
The Broncos enjoy a week off before travelling to Belmore in Round 20 to meet with Cameron Ciraldo's Bulldogs. Meanwhile, the Dolphins head down to the Gold Coast to clash with the Titans next Sunday.