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Brisbane captain Adam Reynolds has stood tall to help salvage a pressure-relieving comeback win against COVID-19 ravaged Canterbury.
The Broncos moved to 3-4 this season with a 34-14 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night, turning on the razzle-dazzle with four tries in the final 19 minutes.
They had looked a beaten team early in the first half against the last-placed side, who were missing at least six regulars through illness and injury.
Facing a fifth straight loss, alarm bells were ringing when Matt Dufty skipped breezed past Herbie Farnworth to begin the second half and create a 14-6 lead.
It was shaping as a monumental night for the Bulldogs (1-6), who brought in Jacob Kiraz and Billy Tsikrikas to debut from outside the squad's top 30 after four players caught COVID-19 and another two were injured.
The hosts found something, though, to relieve pressure on coach Kevin Walters, whose NRL record now reads 10-21 since taking charge last season.
"Very happy. I'd just like to know where that sort of was earlier in the game," Walters said of their thrilling final quarter.
"The talent's there, it was good to see them get a bit of joy, it's a been a slog this last month."
Reynolds revealed he had blasted his troops, labelling their play "embarrassing" after the Bulldogs scored their third try.
"He's good, that's why we got him and that's going to continue to grow for him," Walters said of the South Sydney recruit.
"I was happy for Adam, he's been under as much pressure as anyone, through no fault of his."
Cory Paix burrowed over to kickstart the recovery, the ball shaving part of the try line and the hooker erupting in celebration.
Then captain Reynolds delivered, his short chip on the halfway line finding Jordan Riki, who then passed back to Reynolds to put them ahead.
The skipper iced the contest with 12 minutes to play, calmly firing a long cut-out pass to Selwyn Cobbo alone on the wing.
The pair again combined with six minutes to play, Cobbo snatching a Reynolds grubber on the fly from Josh Addo-Carr for a spectacular try in the corner.
Cobbo wasn't done, collecting Herbie Farnworth's audacious flick pass and kicking infield to find prop Rhys Kennedy for another highlight-reel try.
The Bulldogs had earlier seized control, Josh Addo-Carr finding form as he twice cruised by Cobbo to score.
It could have been worse if not for returning fullback Te Maire Martin.
The former North Queensland playmaker, in his first NRL game for 1092 days, twice held Bulldogs players up over the line as part of a confident all-round display.
Coach Trent Barrett praised his debutants but said familiar errors had cost them victory.
"We're still working out that you can't solve things on your own when things get hard," he said.
"Brisbane will benefit from having a player like him (Reynolds) in their team.
"He knows what to do and when to do it, but we were our own worst enemy in the last 20 minutes."
Broncos star prop Payne Haas left the field in the seventh minute clutching his shoulder but returned to complete the contest.