Brisbane Broncos vs North Queensland Cowboys, live stream, live blog, SuperCoach scores, Adam Reynolds, Jason Taumalolo, news, highlights, round 3
The Cowboys beat a dismal Broncos team 38-12 on the back of star displays of Chad Townsend, Jason Taumalolo and his heir apparent Jeremiah Nanai.
Valentine Holmes opened the scoring with a penalty goal after a high tackle from Broncos hooker Jake Turpin to give the Cowboys a 2-0 lead.
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Nanai then pounced on a Townsend grubber to make it 8-0 for the visitors after 13 minutes.
The Broncos finally got into the board on a penalty try after Kyle Feldt was deemed to have knocked out Herbie Farnworth in the in-goal while leading the ball race.
However, the Cowboys would have the last laugh of a thrilling first half when Jason Taumalolo replaced Griffin Neame with a perfectly timed pass to make it 14-6 at the break.
The Cowboys picked up where they left off in the second half, with Valentine Holmes diving into the corner after a bad abandonment from Adam Reynolds.
Nanai then jumped high for a kick to score her second and blow the score to 26-6.
Nanai then sealed his hat-trick to bury the hapless Broncos with 15 minutes left.
Tom Dearden scored against his former club to put some salt in the Broncos’ wounds.
Farnworth scored a consolation try but it was too little too late as the Broncos fell to their first loss while the Cowboys won their second on a trot.
Read on for the main takeaways from the match.
NANAI ANNOUNCES AS APPARENT HEIR OF TAUMALOLO
Jason Taumalolo continued his revival against the Broncos, but it was young rower Jeremiah Nanai who announced himself as the man to ascend his throne in North Queensland.
Taumalolo will be the main man for a while yet in this form, but the 19-year-old Nanai is moving easily into first year after playing in just his seventh NRL game.
Andrew Voss and Michael Ennis praised Nanai’s involvement, particularly early in the game when he set up a try set and scored one himself.
“Townsend kicks early, deflection and Nanai is in the game again,” Voss said.
“Did I say hot property? He has a chip next to his name. He’s a player.
“He also finds his way to the line. We saw him score on his debut last year and then we saw him score last week against the Raiders.
“Todd Payten likes what he sees. If you’ve never seen Nanai play, this is the biggest game of her life.
“What about what he provided today.”
Ennis believes Nanai has the potential to be one of the game’s superstars given what he has shown so early in his career.
“One of the young superstars our game has found over the last 12 months,” Ennis said of Nanai.
“Nanai gets the first down for the Cowboys. The pure speed of the young back rower.
“He was great. He’s so athletic. He is aggressive.
“His kick to get them to repeat the set six was exceptional for a young man.
“The reaction of kicking the foot and getting it into the in-goal in a very short time.”
However, Taumalolo showed plenty as well as he set up a crucial half-time try with a superb pass for Neame.
Corey Parker and Ennis praised the perfectly timed passing, especially as Taumalolo is often criticized for not possessing a passing game.
“Nice pass from Jason Taumalolo,” Parker said.
“He often comes out at the back and this time runs to Griffin Neame and what a try for the youngster.
“What a time to arrive just at the stroke of halftime.”
“What a ball from Taumalolo,” said Ennis.
“The ball played here by the central striker isolating Reynolds and Palasia outside.”
Nanai had his second try to seal the result after jumping high for a kick, showing he can do it all, then dove for his hat trick moments later.
“What a star this guy is,” Ennis said.
“He’s been in all this afternoon.”
“A star is born at Suncorp,” added Voss.
Nanai and Taumalolo can be a formidable partnership for the Cowboys during the veteran’s contract which expires in 2027.
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TOWNSEND OUTPOINTS REYNOLDS DUEL IN HALFBACK
The Cowboys were heavily criticized for pursuing Chad Townsend in a monster $2.4 million deal while Adam Reynolds was on the open market, but on his performance against the Broncos it could be a knock of master.
Reynolds was mediocre, continuing a slow start to his spell with the Broncos, but Townsend is in great shape to start his Cowboys career and North Queensland is reaping the benefits.
Michael Ennis hailed Townsend’s experience in setting up the game’s first try for young Nanai.
“It was the experience of Townsend recognizing that Broncos guard Tesi Niu was in the line,” Ennis said on Fox League.
“He comes forward leaving a lot of space behind and it’s a free run to the line.
“Great job Townsend. There you see the vision. As soon as he realized Niu was up, he dropped him behind. All he had to do was dribble past him.
“It’s just great vision and instincts from Townsend and he just put in an accurate kick. Doesn’t he like that.”
Townsend was also heavily involved in the Cowboys’ second down after playing twice in the set before handing the ball to Taumalolo, who set a tray for Neame to score.
“Chad Townsend is leaving his mark on this contest,” Ennis said.
“He went to the right side and found Peta Hiku, then he swung to the left and linked up with his main man Jason Taumalolo.”
Townsend and Reynolds are both the same age and look set for an exciting rivalry over their three-year deals with their new clubs in Queensland, but the Cowboys star has bragging rights at this early stage.
FARNWORTH’S TIMELY PITCH FOR THE EXTENSION AS STAGGS DISAPPEARS
All the talk at the start of the season was about the impact Kotoni Staggs was going to have on the Broncos, but it’s his out-of-contract center partner who steals the show.
Farnworth was in everything for the Broncos, continuing his eye-catching form to start the year.
Michael Ennis questioned why an out-of-contract player at Farnworth had more license to move than Staggs, who signed a monster five-year contract.
“He proves Farnworth very important to this Broncos team,” Ennis said.
“He was exceptional last week against the Bulldogs. He picked it up this afternoon for them.
“So much so that Brisbane fans must be wondering, can Kotoni Staggs have the same license?
“Can we see Kotoni come in and walk around. It’s just sitting on its right edge.
“Exceptional start to the season for Herbie Farnworth.”
Jake Duke thinks the Broncos may need to move quickly to sign Farnworth, whose value increases with every strong performance.
“Herbie Farnworth notched his first NRL double last week,” Duke said.
“He had a monster game running over 200 yards. He scores another one there with that penalty try.
“He’s out of contract at the end of the year, so his value would go up as he plays for the Broncos.”
Staggs was guilty of a few bad mistakes and struggled to get involved in the contest unlike his central partner.
“Staggs is really struggling to enter this contest,” Ennis said.
Farnworth put the exclamation mark on his star performance with a second try to death.
The Broncos are hoping to maintain their perfect record as they take on the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.
After beating the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs, Kevin Walters’ men are on top form, with marquee rookie Adam Reynolds set to play a starring role in the Red Hill side’s performance in Brisbane.
Kotoni Staggs is hoping to play a huge role for the Broncos, with his form under review in the early rounds of the 2022 season.
Interestingly, Staggs has suffered both ACL and MCL injuries in games against the Cowboys in past seasons and will hopefully come through the game in top form.
Meanwhile, Cowboys enforcer Jason Taumalolo hopes to improve his second-round performance and return to his scintillating best Dally M.
Rumors have swirled about a rift between coach Todd Payten and the million dollar man from North Queensland, but a standout performance against the Raiders has allayed the doubts of the Cowboys faithful.
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