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Walsh produces masterclass as Broncos storm home against Titans

A second half Reece Walsh masterclass inspired the Broncos to a come from behind 43-26 win against the Titans and retain top spot on the NRL ladder.

Playing before a capacity Cbus Super Stadium crowd, the Titans dominated the first half and led 14-6 until a runaway Herbie Farnworth try on the last play before the interval.

However, Walsh took control after the break as Brisbane piled on four quickfire  tries before a late consolation try to English hooker Kruise Leeming.

Walsh scored a try and had a hand in two others in a five-star performance that could only enhance his Queensland Origin prospects.

Brilliant Broncos

Gold Coast winger Phil Sami showed the determination of the home side to take the game to the Broncos when he outleapt Herbie Farnworth for a Tannah Boyd kick to score in just the fifth minute.

Brisbane forward Jordan Riki hit back for the visitors 10 minutes later when he reached out to plant the ball over the tryline despite the attention of three Gold Coast defenders.

However, rookie Titans winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira put the Titans ahead when he crossed for his sixth try in as many matches after centre Brian Kelly put him over untouched in the 23rd minute.

Khan-Pereira strolls over

A 32nd minute Boyd penalty goal gave Gold Coast a 14-6 lead and they were attacking Brisbane's line just before halftime when Reece Walsh charged down a Jayden Campbell kick and Herbie Farnworth raced away to score.

Walsh put the Broncos ahead for the first time in the match when he crashed over to score in the 51st minute after another charge down by Riki, who was chased down by Campbell two tackles before the try.

Broncos get the breakthrough

The star fullback then had a hand in Brisbane's next try by winger Jesse Arthars to give the Telstra Premiership leaders a 22-14 lead midway through the second half.

With Titans captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui in the sinbin for repeated infringements, the Broncos took advantage and Kurt Capewell swooped on an Adam Reynolds grubber to score in the 65th minute.

Ezra Mam crossed just two minutes later after a jinking, swerving run by Walsh in which he beat four defenders before drawing Campbell to give the rookie five-eighth an easy run to the tryline and Brisbane a 36-14 lead.

Leeming scored his first NRL try in the 70th minute he didn't have the say in the match, with Brisbane winger Selwyn Cobbo toeing ahead a loose Kieran Foran pass before racing away to score.

Can't catch Cobbo

Reynolds kicked a 79th minute field goal before Khan-Pereira scored his second try in the last play of the game.     

Match snapshot

  • The Broncos have beaten each of the other three Queensland teams in the opening seven rounds of the season.
  • The sell-out crowd of 26,563 was the biggest on the Gold Coast since Johnathan Thurston's farewell match in Round 25 of the 2018 season.
  • Titans fullback Jayden Campbell produced two try saving tackles in a five-star performance with his famous father Preston - the club's inaugural signing in 2007 - and US ambassador Caroline Kennedy looking on.
US ambassador Caroline Kennedy with Titans CEO Steve Mitchell
US ambassador Caroline Kennedy with Titans CEO Steve Mitchell ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos
  • Titans prop Moeaki Fotuaika was the best player on the field in the first half and carried the ball for 136 metres in 11 runs, while making 17 tackles.
  • The loss of Gold Coast captain Tino Fa'asuamaleaui to the sinbin in the 62nd minute had an obvious impact on the Titans' hopes of a come back. 
  • Representative stars Payne Haas (169m) and Patrick Carrigan (170m) ran for the most metres with the ball for the Broncos. 

Titans desperate in defence

Play of the game

England centre Herbie Farnworth ran 70 metres to score on the stroke of halftime and reduce Brisbane's deficit to 14-10 after Reece Walsh charged down a Jayden Campbell kick.

Prop Martin Taupau, who had joined the fray just two minutes earlier, picked up the loose ball and sent Farnworth racing for the tryline.

Herbie rides again

What they said

"We will learn a lot from that. We have got a good group of players and we have got a good side, so we will bounce back. We have just got to push the way we played for the 50 closer to 80 and we will win those games. I thought there were some great signs from us but we have just got to do it for longer,": Titans coach Justin Holbrook.

Titans: Round 7

"The pleasing that was that when we did start to play some footy we looked like a pretty good side, I would have thought. They started really well, which we knew they would. Scoring points leading into halftime is always really important. The points on halftime obviously lift you. We didn't get [Walsh] in the game too much in the first half. Adam and him have only had seven games together so once that combination builds we will be a lot better for that. It is pretty exciting knowing where Reece is at in his career and he has such a great mentor in Adam helping him on the field," Broncos coach Kevin Walters. 

Broncos: Round 7

What's next

The Titans feature in another Queensland derby next Sunday when they travel to Redcliffe to take on the Dolphins and coach Justin Holbrook may have a selection headache with AJ Brimson (hamstring) close to returning.

The Broncos have a trip to Darwin to meet the Eels on Friday night and are set to welcome back forward Tom Flegler (concussion protocols), while Corey Oates (jaw) may also be available.

Jordan Riki came from the field 10 minutes before fulltime with a minor groin injury and Walters said he would be rested ahead of the Eels clash.



Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.