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Newcastle
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Saturday August 13 7:35pm AEST, Suncorp Stadium
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28
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10

Missing link returns to ignite Broncos, Knights’ ‘awful’ problem: 3 Big Hits

Ezra Mam, Anthony Milford and Te Maire Martin. 2Source: FOX SPORTS

The Broncos have beaten the Knights 28-10 on the back of brilliant displays from Te Maire Martin and Ezra Mam and a hat-trick to Selwyn Cobbo.

Martin’s return from injury gave the Broncos an edge in attack and Cobbo cashed in with a brilliant three-try performance as the Knights’ edges were blown apart.

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Cobbo opened the scoring in the corner after some brilliant lead-up work from Adam Reynolds and Martin.

Corey Oates crossed in the opposite corner for his 19th try of the season after a questionable last pass from Delouise Hoeter was cleared.

Mam and Martin combined for one of the long-range tries of the season to push the Broncos out to a commanding 18-0 lead.

Daniel Saifiti barged over from close range to give the Knights a chance at a late comeback.

Bradman Best dived over to cut the deficit to eight points and set up a grandstand finish.

However, Cobbo snuffed out the comeback after securing his double to seal an important win for the Broncos.

Cobbo sealed his hat-trick when Reynolds put the ball on a dime for him to score in the corner and put the icing on the cake.

Here are the key takeaways from the match.

MARTIN PROVES MISSING LINK FOR BRONCOS

Te Maire Martin returned for his first game since Round 16 and showed the Broncos exactly what they have been missing in a masterful display.

Martin is a five-eighth turned fullback and his playmaking ability adds another dimension to the Broncos attack.

Corey Parker believes Martin’s inclusion ensured the Broncos looked far more cohesive in attack and it took the pressure of his halves and allowed them to play their games.

“They look more in synch with Martin back,” Parker said.

“He has got a real nice slight of hand. Not your traditional fullback in regards to getting lots of run metres, but he had two try assists in the first half.

“He alleviated a lot of pressure off the halves just by his ability to be able to ball play and Cobbo and Mam were the beneficiaries of that.”

Michael Ennis credited Martin with getting the Broncos out of their funk in terms of their attack over their two game losing run.

“What a game from Te Maire Martin,” Ennis said.

“Coming into the side after being out since Round 16, boy he made a difference just with his composure and his control.

“He has ignited the Brisbane attack.”

MAM SHINES AS REYNOLDS STEERS BRONCOS TO VICTORY

The Broncos were not at their best but with the brilliant running game of Ezra Mam proving the perfect foil for Adam Reynolds’ organisation, Brisbane took the game by the scruff of the neck in the key moments.

As long as the Broncos can get their defence in order, with Mam and Reynolds driving the ship and Selwyn Cobbo finishing in the corner, they can create more than enough points to make a deep run in the finals.

Cooper Cronk noted that the Broncos were not at the peak of their powers against the Knights, but Reynolds and Mam were able to ice the try-scoring opportunities.

“The Broncos did it in second gear,” Cronk said.

“They had the tools to break open the game at any stage with the likes of Adam Reynolds with some craft to sell the dummy for the Oates try.

“This was the try of the first half from Ezra Mam.

“He scored with five minutes to go and it set the tone for the rest of the game for the Broncos.”

Michael Ennis marvelled at Mam’s ability to break the game open out of nothing at such a young age and with a long career ahead of him.

“Mam was electric,” Ennis said.

“19 years of age. Boy isn’t he an excitement machine.

“The Broncos have now jumped the Eels into sixth and have a healthy points differential lead over them.”

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KNIGHTS WOEFUL ATTACK GOES FROM BAD TO WORSE

The Knights had enough ball and field position to win easily against the Broncos, but a combination of their soft defence and inept attack gave them no chance at Suncorp Stadium.

Cooper Cronk lamented the Knights’ inability to create any real try-scoring opportunities despite a mountain of possession in the first half.

“It was a strange first half because statistically the Knights were the better team,” Cronk said.

“They had more ball and more possession but to be honest didn’t look like scoring a try.

“Their centres Bradman Best and Dane Gagai were under immense pressure.

“They carved up Dane Gagai on the right edge for the Knights.

“The Knights didn’t look like firing a shot.

“When they get down the other end they are just not engaging that Brisbane defensive line at all.”

Corey Parker slammed the Knights’ horror attack, which failed to put the Broncos under any sustained scoreboard pressure.

“25 times the Knights were tackled inside the Broncos 20 without even looking like scoring,” Parker said.

“The only time they were able to mount any sort of pressure was off a couple of repeat sets.

“They were awful with their attack the Knights.

“The Knights are in all sorts at the moment.”

Michael Ennis was at a loss as to why the Knights haven’t been able to be more competitive with the roster they have at their disposal. in 2022.

“You just watch that Newcastle side come out and you see the Saifiti brothers, Dane Gagai and Tyson Frizell who are absolute weapons and great leaders at different stages throughout their careers and I find it hard to fathom that Newcastle are sitting where they are this year with the roster they have,” Ennis said.

MATCH PREVIEW

The Brisbane Broncos host the Newcastle Knights in a clash at Suncorp Stadium.

Te Maire Martin returns at fullback for the Broncos, while Delouise Hoeter replaces Brenko Lee in the centres after his hamstring injury.

Ryan James starts at lock, with Kobe Hetherington switching to the bench.

The Knights have lost David Klemmer to injury, with Jacob Saifiti to start and Sauaso Sue joining the bench.

Adam Clune returns to the No.7 jumper with Jake Clifford out with a fractured arm.

The seventh place Broncos desperately need to avoid a third straight loss to keep their slim top four hopes alive, while the Knights are playing for pride as they look for their second straight win.

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