It was a case of no full back, no worries for the Sydney Roosters as they tore an inexperienced Brisbane Broncos line up to shreds.
The Roosters ended their six game losing streak at Suncorp Stadium, handing a Brisbane a 59-0 thrashing, the biggest in the club’s history.
James Tedesco woke up with a temperature, meaning under new strict biosecurity measures amidst coronavirus he wasn’t permitted into the venue, and subsequently didn’t board the Roosters flight to Brisbane.
Brett Morris was handed full back duties, and the veteran excelled assisting two tries, scoring one of his own and getting plenty of footy.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the Broncos to defend their Suncorp winning streak against the two-time reigning premiers. They were missing a host of talent including Jake Turpin, Alex Glenn, Kotoni Staggs, Tevita Pangai Jr. and David Fifita, fielding a line-up with five players that had five or less games experience.
Nevertheless, the performance they dished up was nothing short of an embarrassment. The Roosters completed 39 sets to the Broncos 20, ran 1235 more metres, had ten line breaks to two, and more than doubled their tackle breaks. Not to mention recording 64% possession.
Luke Keary’s quick hands found Brett Morris, who got an arm free to offload to brother Josh, skillfully picking it up on the bounce and finding the try line with his outstretched arm to open the Roosters account inside five minutes with his first try for the club.
Josh Morris scoring his first try for the tri-colours
The six-again rule wasn’t doing Brisbane any favours, playing a part in Joseph Manu and Victor Radley tries to see Sydney skip away to a 16-0 lead inside 20 mintues.
The Broncos defence was in complete disarray, halfback Kyle Flanagan capitalising, double pumping to Angus Crichton for the fourth Roosters try.
Angus Crichton with a Roosters try
The Broncos were well and truly in damage control, but nothing could be done to contain the rampaging Roosters. A fast play the ball slicing the Broncos open, Jake Friend putting Victor
Radley through the hole who found Flanagan in support, giving the Roosters a five try 28-0 lead on the cusp of half an hour.
The Morris brothers put on a clinic, another one-handed Brett offload finding Josh only for try to be disallowed on the basis of a contentious obstruction ruling.
On the stroke of half time, Luke Keary couldn’t help himself, slotting a field goal to ice the cake on a tremendously one-sided half of footy.
Anyone thinking it couldn’t get any worse for Brisbane would be sorely mistaken, the Roosters piling on the pain in the second half.
Isaac Liu put Keary onto an open 50 metre run for a try. The Broncos showed an ounce of fight withstanding repeat set after repeat set in their defensive 20, before the pressure became insurmountable, culminating in a Lindsay Collins try.
The prop was a standout performer, coming off the interchange to run 272 metres and tally nine tackle breaks in just 57 minutes.
At 41-0 it couldn’t get much worse for the Broncos, yet somehow it did. Jesse Arthars was sent to sin bin and they were defending a man short.
Crichton exploited the 12-man defence to complete his brace. The Morris brothers linked again, finding Tupou on the wing, waltzing to the in-goal and bringing up the half-century. The Broncos depleted right side conceding yet another try after being hammered all night.
Brett Morris would run in for a well deserved try, the tenth and final one.
Not even the cardboard cut outs in the stands deserved to witness such a lackluster display. Brisbane only troubled the Roosters defence twice all night, both efforts resulting in knock-ons.
Whilst the Roosters backed up their claim for a tilt at a three-peat, and highlighted their depth, serious questions must be asked of Brisbane. In their last five matches, including last year’s Elimination Final, the Broncos have been trounced 58-0, 34-6 and 59-0.