Brisbane Broncos belt Cronulla Sharks, spoil Paul Gallen's 300th NRL match

Tautau Moga of the Broncos (right) is congratulated by teammate Corey Oates after one of his two tries.
BRADLEY KANARIS/GETTY IMAGES

Tautau Moga of the Broncos (right) is congratulated by teammate Corey Oates after one of his two tries.

Brisbane have spoiled Paul Gallen's 300th-game celebrations, crushing defending premiers Cronulla 32-10 in their NRL clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Centre Tautau Moga bagged a double on Friday night as the Broncos strengthened their top-four position in Wayne Bennett's 600th game as Broncos coach.

But there was no champagne popping for Gallen, who was booed every time he touched the ball by the 34,552-strong crowd.

A bandaged Kiwis international Adam Blair charges at the Cronulla Sharks defence at Suncorp Stadium.
BRADLEY KANARIS/GETTY IMAGES

A bandaged Kiwis international Adam Blair charges at the Cronulla Sharks defence at Suncorp Stadium.

The Sharks' title defence officially looks shaky after they failed to lift for Gallen, whose 300th game as a one-club player puts him behind only Cronulla legend Andrew Ettingshausen (328).

READ MORE:
* Recap: Brisbane Broncos v Cronulla Sharks
Door open for Adam Blair to leave Broncos
Mannering: Time for NZ Warriors to move on

 

The visitors had been desperate to get their top-four campaign back on track after last round's loss to Canberra.

But nothing could inspire a flat Sharks who could slip as far as sixth on the ladder after their second-straight defeat.

"It's disappointing. We wanted to get the job done with a win tonight for Gal," Sharks coach Shane Flanagan said.

It snapped Cronulla's three-game winning run at Suncorp Stadium, marking the Broncos' first victory over the Sharks since 2011 in Brisbane.

Ad Feedback

"We were own worst enemies - too many errors, too many penalties," Flanagan said.

"I don't think we are lacking drive. We are just making too many errors."

Brisbane are on track for a premiership tilt after winning six of their past eight games plus nine of 11 home matches this year.

"I am not thinking about winning the competition right now," Bennett said.

"I just want to get through the next three weeks (of regular season) in good shape. If we can't, it usually ends in tears.

"The next three weeks will tell."

Gallen has lost his 100th, 200th and 300th career games.

"This week, we made it as low key as we could," he said of his milestone.

"It's all about the team at the end of the day and we didn't perform well tonight.

"We are all hurting, not just me. But it's not all doom and gloom - we have time to turn it around."

Sharks playmaker James Maloney had a nightmare return from a broken hand, missing 10 tackles and making two errors.

Cronulla cut Brisbane's lead to 14-6 by halftime after veteran Luke Lewis scored in the 39th minute.

Moga - who will link with Newcastle next year - iced the result when he steamrolled opponents to score in the 44th and 60th minutes.

Milestone man Bennett has won 20 of his past 25 games against Cronulla.

Brisbane Broncos 32 (Tautau Moga 2, Darius Boyd, Matt Gillett, Corey Oates tries; Anthony Milford 6 goals) Cronulla Sharks 10 (Gerard Beale, Luke Lewis tries; James Maloney goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Ben Cummins, Chris Sutton. Crowd: 34,552

 - AAP

Ad Feedback
special offers
Ad Feedback