Brisbane whiz kid Reece Walsh won the battle of the fullbacks with Latrell Mitchell in a 28-18 win over an error-riddled South Sydney.

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou tagged his side’s display “a horror show”.

Walsh scored two tries at Lang Park in front of 35,507 fans on Thursday night, the second after a Mitchell blunder when he failed to gather an in-field kick by Broncos winger Jesse Arthars.

Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds battled through a recurrence of a right knee injury before leaving the field in the 70th minute.

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“It stirred up what was already there and is pretty sore. I’ll get another scan and see how it is,” Reynolds said, as he races the clock to be fit for next week’s clash with Penrith.

Apart from a six-minute spurt after half-time where bench utility Siliva Havili scored a try and set one up, the Rabbitohs were diabolical.

The Broncos led 12-0 at the break after both sides bumbled and fumbled their way through 40 excruciating minutes for their respective coaches.

The Rabbitohs were the worst offenders, completing just 10 of 20 sets.

They made a laundry list of elementary errors, including losing a scrum when they had the feed.

“I couldn’t fault our defensive effort and resolve, but we are just shooting ourselves in the foot … whether we can’t feed the scrum properly, first tackle errors or kicking into our own player or penalties for blocking,” Demetriou said.

A man celebrates after scoring a try in a rugby league match

Walsh was in brilliant touch as he ripped South Sydney apart. (Getty Images: Chris Hyde)

“It was a horror show.”

After the Havili heroics, the Rabbitohs went back to their first-half ways.

Walsh and centres Selwyn Cobbo and Kotoni Staggs razzled and dazzled after Broncos forward leaders Pat Carrigan and Payne Haas dominated.

Two pieces of brilliance by Reynolds and Walsh lit up the half.

Reynolds, up against his former club, slid a masterful grubber kick through for winger Deine Mariner to score in the 18th minute.

Walsh made two handling errors early, but he didn’t let that dent his confidence.

Instead, the talismanic No.1 stepped and weaved his way past six Rabbitohs defenders to score with blistering speed.

Hooker Damien Cook was sin-binned in the 29th minute and the Broncos were unable to make the visitors pay through their own mistakes.

Forward Kobe Hetherington muffed the best chance when he dropped the ball with the line wide open after being put through a hole by Carrigan.

Havili crashed through in the 43rd minute, then three minutes later put Davvy Moale over under the sticks to make it 12-12.

It was Walsh who stepped up when the match was on the line, not Mitchell, who scored a consolation try.

“In games like this where it’s pretty tight, you need those (brilliant) guys and Reece is one,” Broncos coach Kevin Walters said.

“It was a good performance from him.

“It was an ugly game. As a team we aren’t quite nailing it, but you need to win those games at this time of the year.”

Walsh and Cobbo combined beautifully to put Arthars over in the corner, before the Brisbane custodian sealed the deal with his second try.

Mariner iced the win with a brilliant chip and chase for his second try.

The Broncos’ young guns were superb, with second-rower Brendan Piakura smashing opposite Cameron Murray on several occasions.

The hosts were far from perfect, but the Rabbitohs are 0-2 and look set for a long season.

Broncos five-eighth Ezra Mam, in his first game after Spencer Leniu’s racial slur, almost scored from a grubber and had a sound game.


Re-live all the action from tonight in our live blog.

Signing off

That’ll do us! Another game in the books. Be sure to check back in tomorrow and on Saturday and again on Sunday – we’ll be blogging every NRL game of the season.

See you next time.


Broncos presser

Reynolds says he stirred up what was already there with his knee. He’ll get a scan in the morning. Beyond that he’s playing it with a pretty straight bat.

Walters says the Broncos are a long way off where they want to be but praises Walsh for his ability to break the game open.

Jai Arrow return

The Rabbitohs are hopeful Jai Arrow can return in 4-8 weeks from his shoulder injury which is…..not great? I mean, it’s good they’ll have him back this year but that’s a long time without one of their more established forwards and they really, really need some muscle up the guts right now.

Demetriou speaks

The Rabbitohs coach is pretty scathing of his side – labels a lot of their mistakes as dumb and says Jack Wighton’s imminent return won’t mean much if they can’t hold the ball.


Here’s all the big moments from tonight in case you missed any of them.

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Waiting on the press conferences

We’ll run this blog just a little longer in case Kevin Walters gives us an update on Reynolds at the presser.

After a loss like that Demetriou might have a few things to say in his press conference as well……

FULLTIME: Broncos 28 Souths 18

Mitchell scores a 60 metre solo try to finish – he got on the inside of Staggs, burst in the clear and swerved away from Walsh, it was pretty sick – and he converts after the siren. Brisbane win 28-18.

76th minute: BRONCOS TRY

One more try for Brisbane and it’s through Mariner. Walters ducks down the blind side, Mariner is one-on-one with Johnston and he audaciously chips over the top and regathers to score. Another beauty – Brisbane have been well below their best tonight but when they’ve got it right it’s been great to watch. Walsh converts and it’s 28-12.

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74th minute: Souths no try

Mitchell pokes a kick in behind Johnston and Mariner shadows it towards the dead ball line, Johnston tries to reach for the ball but he knocks it on. 20 metre restart.

Reynolds off

Reynolds is done for the night and gone straight up the tunnel. Channel Nine reports they’re looking for ACL damage and they’re “quite concerned.”

Injury alert: Adam Reynolds

Now the reason Walsh kicked the goal there was because Reynolds was down getting treatment on his knee. He looked as though he was coming off, but he’s going to soldier on.

Remember he was in a bit of doubt for this game with that same knee injury. One more Brisbane try, or another ten minutes, and they’ll probably give him an early mark.

63rd minute: BRONCOS TRY

On his own 40, Walsh knifes through on the last tackle. He finds Cobbo out wide who goes to Arthars and the winger kicks inside. The bounce beats Mitchell and guess who’s there – Walsh! He scores his second and kicks the goal as well for good measure. Broncos lead 22-12.

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58th minute: Broncos penalty

Ilias kicks the ball into Duncan for an accidental offside which puts Brisbane back on the attack.

An offside gives them a six again but Walsh overcooks it and Johnson latches onto an intercept to get Souths off the hook. But then they shoot themselves in the foot again as Keppie gives away a penalty as a kick blocker. You know, I’m not really sure about that rule….don’t know if it was needed. Regardless, Brisbane go on the attack.

Payne Haas is back on

The big man is back out there and seems untroubled by that knee, great news for Brisbane.

52nd minute: BRONCOS TRY

A charged-down kick falls for Cobbo, he flies down the right side again and Brisbane are on the attack! Walsh kicks for himself and very nearly gets there first, only for Souths to clean it up and knock it dead. Mitchell goes short with the drop out but Cobbo takes it cleanly.

And it’s Cobbo, who is having a whale of a game, who makes the key pass – Walsh hits him long, Cobbo taps it on for Arthars and the winger is over in the corner. Brisbane right the ship. Reynolds misses, but the Bronx lead 16-12.

47th minute: SOUTHS ERROR

Murray puts it down on the third tackle of the exit set, Piakura got right under the ball. Brisbane finally get a bit of ball, this game has turned on it’s head since their last set.

Reynolds goes for an early kick but Walker takes a slips catch and takes off up field to relieve the pressure. It’s all coming up Rabbitohs at the moment!

45th minute: SOUTHS TRY

Souths earn a penalty on the get-out set and have another chance early. They look like a different team now, very energised.

And then it’s Havili again! He goes short to Moale, who strolls through a huge gap to score next to the posts! The Rabbitohs have levelled up before Brisbane have touched the ball in the second half!

43rd minute: SOUTHS TRY

Arthars drops a bomb on the first set of the second half to give Souths the chance to strike back early.

And it’s Siliva Havili who is the unlikely man to do it! He gets the ball on a two-pass shift, straightens up and powers through Riki to score! Great effort from the Tongan international. Mitchell converts and Souths have narrowed it to 12-6.

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Second half underway

Brisbane kick off to get the second stanza started.

HALFTIME: Broncos 12 Souths 0

An error-filled clash thus far but that’s the only reason Souths are still in it – they look way off the pace. Rabbitohs need a big turnaround to get back into it because if Brisbane’s execution gets a little better this could get really ugly really fast.