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The return of superstar Shaun Johnson has spearheaded the Warriors to a 20-6 win over the Broncos in Redcliffe on Saturday afternoon.

Playing his first game since suffering a pectoral injury in round one, Johnson quickly found his groove, putting centre Jesse Arthars across with a perfectly timed pass in the fifth minute.

The Broncos then lost Thomas Flegler to the sin bin in the 21st minute and had Albert Kelly leave the field with an ankle injury and the Warriors capitalised through Arthars, who finished off some good lead-up by Johnson and Reece Walsh.

Skipper Adam Reynolds got the Broncos on the board while they were a man down when he put in a grubber for himself and followed through to score to pull it back to 12-6.

A couple of mistakes from the Warriors then handed Brisbane a golden chance to draw level but Marcelo Montoya came in off his wing and hit Kotoni Staggs with a bell-ringer to force a turnover.

Flegler on report and sent to sin bin

After his huge defensive play Montoya then put his name on the scoresheet in the next set after a sweet offload from Adam Pompey gave him a free run to the left hand corner.

The second half settled into an arm wrestle as big men Payne Haas (176 metres) and Addin Fonua-Blake (202 metres) battled for supremacy in the middle and veteran playmakers Johnson and Reynolds kicked for field position.

A wayward pass by Johnson in the 65th minute gave Corey Oates the chance to grab an intercept and sprint away but the Broncos winger put the ball down with open space in front of him.

Montoya is all over Staggs and forces a mistake

Flegler found himself on report for a fourth time with 10 minutes remaining when a hip drop tackle on Ben Murdoch-Masila gave Walsh the opportunity to knock over a penalty goal and make it 18-6.

The final insult for Brisbane came in the 76th minute when Jake Turpin was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul and Walsh slotted the penalty for 20-6.

After starting the season with strong wins over Souths and the Bulldogs, the Broncos have slumped to consecutive losses and have managed just three tries across the last 160 minutes of football.

Match snapshot

  • In his first match back from a four-game ban Broncos prop Thomas Flegler found himself on report four times and in the sin bin for a late tackle on Addin Fonua-Blake.
  • Jazz Tevaga was put on report for a cannonball tackle on Pat Carrigan in the 27th minute.
  • Matt Lodge laid the foundation for the Warriors with a powerhouse first half, chalking up 121 metres from 13 runs.
  • The Broncos finished the game with just 15 men after injuries to Pat Carrigan (knee) and Albert Kelly (foot) saw them take no part in the second half.
  • Warriors hooker Wayde Egan left the field for a HIA early in the second half which he passed and was able to return.
  • Jake Turpin was an immovable object in defence for Brisbane with 47 tackles while Haas made 44 and Flegler 40.
  • Warriors coach Nathan Brown has won 10 of his past 13 games against the Broncos.

Play of the Game

With the Broncos running around in circles and going nowhere in attack, their main man Adam Reynolds came up with a clever kick and chase to post his first try in Brisbane colours and steady the ship. Channeling one of the Broncos' favourite sons Allan Langer, the former Rabbitoh took the odds to a grubber and came up trumps.

Reynolds tries to inspire with some brilliance

What They Said

"Tom [Flegler] is obviously in a fair bit of strife with four charges, that's never good for anyone, but we'll look at it this afternoon and tomorrow and do what we can. He plays on the edge but he's bitterly disappointed with what's unfolded out there. He plays tough and he plays physical but he's not the sort of player to deliberately try and go out and hurt people." - Broncos coach Kevin Walters

"I thought our big boys did a great job [in the midfield]. It was Lodgey's best game since he's been at the club. He certainly delivered on what he was talking about during the week. We certainly scaled our game back, we didn't come here and expect to play the greatest brand of footy as far as entertaining... all of our halves and hookers and fullback have never played together before so that was a bit of a new one for us and I thought we scaled back and toughed it out and defended well and got a well earned victory." - Warriors coach Nathan Brown 

NRL Press Conference: Warriors v Broncos - Round 4, 2022

What's Next

The Warriors return to Moreton Daily Stadium to host the Cowboys on Friday night. Ash Taylor (hip), Rocco Berry (illness) and Viliami Vailea (knee) should be good to go if required by Nathan Brown.

The Broncos are in action the same night in a huge clash with the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium. Jordan Riki (ribs) and Kurt Capewell (calf) are expected to be available for selection. The last time they met, the 15th placed Broncos took the finals-bound Roosters to the limit in a round 22 thriller at Suncorp, a late penalty goal to Adam Keighran sealing a 21-20 win for the Tricolours .

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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