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Broncos battered as Parra put on 50, Reynolds departs with concussion and Flegler taken to hospital




Parramatta have thrashed Brisbane to keep their top four hopes alive with a dominant 53-6 win at Suncorp Stadium in which the Broncos lost four players to injury, including star man Adam Reynolds to a head knock.

Reynolds left very early on and will now face a race against time to get back on the field for their clash with the Dragons next week: after looking so comfortable just a month ago, they now need to win to be sure of their place in the finals.

Kobe Hetherington also left the field with concussion, Thomas Flegler was taken to hospital with a throat injury and Brenko Lee also went off with an ankle problem to leave the Broncos down to just 13 for the last 20 minutes.

For Parramatta, Shaun Lane was the star. The rangy backrower have a major hand in three of the five tries that put the game to bed early, with his line-running and offloading to the fore.

Junior Paulo was also superb, using his ball-playing skills to great effect, while Clint Gutherson was at his punchy best, scoring twice and providing three for teammates.

Parra now face Melbourne next week for a potential shot at the top four. The Eels kept up their side of the bargain tonight, but will need a favour from the Sydney Roosters tomorrow if they are to be able to leapfrog the Storm.

After shipping 60 to Melbourne last week, Brisbane’s defence was barely any better this time around. They have now conceded 113 points in two games.

The ease with which the Eels racked up a score in the first half, especially along the Broncos’ right edge, will worry Kevin Walters massively.

The margin grew in the second half as the Broncos were starved of the football and forced to defend with no substitutes. Though it would be harsh to call them out for a gutsy second half showing amid considerable adversity, the die was cast in the first half.

It took a while for the Eels to gain supremacy, but once they did, they never let up. The pattern was set for the first try, with Paulo ball-playing and Lane acting as creator.

The prop engaged the line, found his backrower, who returned the ball via an offload and allowed Paulo to find Maika Sivo at the corner. The Fijian then turned creator himself, kicking inside for Tom Opacic after Lane’s long pass had set him free along the left.

The Broncos sent the kick off out on the full and, from the resultant field position, Isaiah Papali’i proved just as good on the right edge, dumping out of a tackle to put Gutherson in for his first.

The next was a pet play of the Eels. Reed Mahoney spotted the short side play on the last, Mitchell Moses fired a long ball to Waqa Blake and then supported on the inside for the return pass.

Lee did grab one back, but the half ended ignominiously for Brisbane as Lane got another assist for Gutherson and Moses added a mocking field goal on the siren.

The Broncos lost Hetherington to a HIA – which he failed – and then Lee departed with an ankle injury that saw the bench exhausted completely.

Parramatta managed a run of six sets on the Brisbane line before they scored, and predictably given the amount of tackling required, when the try came, it was a simple matter of fatigue as Papali’i pushed through defence that had simply had too much to do.

Will Penisini got another moments later and Gutherson rounded out the night with two more assists: the first a smart kick for Opacic’s second, then a superb long pass that got Blake on the board.





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