NRL: Second-half magic gives Brisbane win

Matt Gillett of the Broncos forces his way to the try line during the round 19 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images
Matt Gillett of the Broncos forces his way to the try line during the round 19 NRL match between the Gold Coast Titans and the Brisbane Broncos. Photo / Getty Images

GOLD COAST: Two magical pieces of ball handling by fullback Josh Hoffman and winger Antonio Winterstein combined to give the Brisbane Broncos an NRL victory last night.

The Gold Coast Titans had led 10-6 at halftime after enjoying a mountain of possession.

But Winterstein's second try following some brilliant play from Hoffman knocked the stuffing out of their rivals.

Hoffman picked up a low pass off his boots and grubber-kicked down the left touch-line.

Winterstein, who had put Brisbane ahead 12-10 with a 54th-minute try, matched Hoffman's effort, scooping the ball up low down before diving over.

Referee Matt Cecchin earned the ire of some of the 26,000 crowd when he sent Titans centre Mat Rogers to the sin bin in the 62nd minute for holding down Broncos winger Jharal Yow Yeh who had dashed 60m downfield.

Brisbane's gritty defence won them the game after they absorbed wave after wave of attack in the first half.

In last night's other game, Mark Gasnier scored the match-winner as St George Illawarra powered home to victory over South Sydney.

With his team down 13-12, Gasnier sprinted more than 20m for his first NRL try in almost two years to give the Dragons a boosting win over spirited opposition.

Neville Costigan had sparked the winning-play out of the unfamiliar position of dummy-half. On the last tackle, with just nine minutes left on the clock, he dummied and went the blind-side, seeing Kiwi flyer Jason Nightingale down the right-flank before he drew fullback Rhys Wesser and sent Gasnier on his way.

The Dragons trailed 12-4 after a John Sutton try early in the second half, and it was a Gasnier pass to Nightingale, for the winger to reach out and score in the corner, that got the NRL leaders back into the game.

With the match as evenly contested as any this season, the Dragons took a chance to draw level through a Jamie Soward penalty kick in 58th minute after Sam Burgess was penalised for stripping Trent Merrin.

Even with 16 minutes still remaining on the clock, Chris Sandow decided his team might as well play from in front and potted a 30m field goal to give the Bunnies the lead.

It wasn't enough, though, and Souths were left heart-broken after a second last-gasp loss in a row.

RESULTS
* Broncos 24 - Titans 10
* Dragons 16 - Rabbitohs 13

- AAP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 Dec 2014 04:15:50 Processing Time: 358ms