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Brisbane Broncos reach NRL grand final with 31-12 win over Sydney Roosters at Lang Park

The win sent the Broncos through to the last decider for the first time since 2006, ending the longest drought in club history.
They now await the winner of Saturday night's clash between the Cowboys, who the Broncos beat in the first week of this year's finals series, and the Storm, Brisbane's opponent in its 2006 triumph.

The Broncos may, however, have some concerns as far as retiring captain Justin Hodges is concerned.
Hodges, playing his 250th NRL game and his last at home, left the field briefly in the 24th minute after injuring his lower back in a tackle by Dylan Napa but his problems lie with the match review committee after he was placed on report for a lifting tackle in the second half.
It was a very rare blemish in an otherwise brilliant performance against the minor premiers.
A brain snap handed the Broncos a dream start when, in the second minute, Roosters winger Shaun Kenny-Dowall through a 20-metre pass in-field after fielding a Ben Hunt kick only to find chasing Brisbane full-back Darius Boyd, who touched down under the posts.
The second Broncos try also came on an error of judgement by a Rooster, although Roger Tuivasa-Sheck could be forgiven for allowing Hunt's 11th-minute grubber into the corner bounce one more time.

Unfortunately for the Roosters full-back, Jordan Kahu flew through the air and batted the ball back into play and it ricocheted off Hodges and back into the hands of Hunt, who dotted down.

Another piece of brilliance, this time an inside-out set play between Hunt and halves partner Anthony Milford, leading to a try for hooker Andrew McCullough, but the Roosters hit back twice through Blake Ferguson when identical right-side shifts, aided by missed tackles by Jack Reed, resulted in a pair of converted tries.

It appeared to swing the momentum back in the visitors' favour before Hunt produced a brilliant cut-out pass to Corey Oates on the Broncos' final raid of the first stanza to give Brisbane a 20-12 half-time lead.

Things went from bad to worse when half-back Mitchell Pearce, in his first game back from injury, was ruled out for the rest of the game with ice on his troublesome right knee.
But they looked to have opened the scoring after the break when Kenny-Dowall collected a Tuivasa-Sheck offload but, despite a try being ruled on the field, the video referee found sufficient evidence of a knock-on to overturn the decision.

Again the Broncos hit back immediately when Milford grubbered through the line and touched down in the 48th minute.
Reed crossed on the left side on the hour mark and Milford slotted a field goal three minutes later, all but kicking off celebrations in Brisbane.


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