Adam Reynolds was arguably the best player on the field against the Storm on Friday night and NRL fans have praised the halfback's elite moment of genius in the first-half. Reece Walsh, Reynolds and the Broncos ran rampant against the Storm winning 26-0 having held their rivals to their first scoreless finals game since 2003.
And immediately the game was dictated by the mobile Broncos forwards and the elite kicking game of Reynolds. The halfback has largely been credited for the Broncos' form over the last two seasons having left the Rabbitohs in shock circumstances.
The Rabbitohs know just how good the 33-year-old can be and he showed it on Friday night with one special moment that turned the tide in the opening stages. Storm five-eighth Cameron Munster had put in a brilliant kick to give his team a repeat set after Xavier Coates made the chase.
However, with the Storm regathering, Reynolds launched a 45m drop kick to the sideline and managed to catch Munster out of position. The kick took everyone by surprise with the Broncos getting the ball back on the halfway line in a huge turnaround.
Manly and Maroons great Paul Vautin was full of praise for the No.7 as he said: "That's as good a play as you will see tonight." Reynolds' show-and-go in the first half also helped create the overlap as he put Katoni Staggs through for the first try of the game.
Reynolds added two more try-assists to the record and his praise after the game was unanimous. The halfback has returned after two weeks sitting out with a calf injury, but looks ready to help the Broncos make their charge for a long-awaited premiership title.
Adam Reynolds has put on a masterclass tonight.
He is still an elite number 7.
What a season he’s had.
— The Oracle (@BigOtrivia) September 8, 2023
Adam Reynolds is an absolute maestro… We will miss him so much when he retires
— 🌟 (@JBroncosEra) September 8, 2023
— Billy Swagspeare (@bswagspeare) September 8, 2023
What A Win! @brisbanebroncos hosting a prelim final for the first time since 2015!
They defeated @storm 26-0 with Melbourne failing to score a point in a final for the first time since 2008 GF.
Broncos skipper Adam Reynolds superb in Brisbane’s first final since 2019! pic.twitter.com/iLKMi7XvH7
— Zane Bojack (@zanofc) September 8, 2023
On behalf of the entire state of Queensland I’d like to thank the South Sydney Rabbitohs for dropping Adam Reynolds. We love him up here!! #GoBroncos
— Cate68 (@05boys) September 8, 2023
- Herbie & Walters have been enormous
- Middles dominating
- Reynolds drop out is one of the plays of the season
- Munster is warming…
- Hughes making huge defensive plays
- NAS looking ominous
- Done well to be down 8-0
Proper Finals Footy stuff
— RugbyLeagueGuru (@RL_Guru) September 8, 2023
It only compounded a bad night for the Storm who routinely allowed the home side to be carried out of their own territory with penalties.
It was the first time in the club's history the team has kept their opponents scoreless in the NRL finals. The Storm haven't been kept scoreless in the NRL finals since 2003.
Ryan Papenhuyzen injury brings game to standstill
Unfortunately, the game was marred with Ryan Papenhuyzen breaking his ankle in just his third game back. The fullback was attempting a tackle when his leg became stuck under teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona. The 25-year-old went down and was writhing in pain.
Players from both teams rushed to help Papenhuyzen as referee Grant Atkins stopped the game immediately and signalled for help. Coach Craig Bellamy was left shattered for his fullback after the incident.
"He's in a whole heap of pain and it's a suspected broken ankle," Craig Bellamy said, after images cut to him during the incident and showed him in disbelief at the injury. "I can't imagine how he's feeling at the moment.
"The amount of work he put in to get back to playing again, then get back into the NRL too. It wasn't a great night anyway, and it made it a lot worse."
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