Coach Des Hasler said that the ball handling was a major problem throughout the match.
You cant have only 18 completed sets in 80 minutes of football and expect to win the game, he said. We know what we are capable of doing so we now need to look towards next week and it is simple, it is sudden death from now on.
Coach Des Hasler chose to play Ben Barba with the Broncos bound fullback starting from the interchange bench. The other returning player, Sam Kasiano started the match with James Graham the man who was moved back on to the interchange bench. Marty Taupau and Lachlan Burr were the men to miss out.
The opening 40 minutes saw the play go from end to end with both sides showing some good glimpses in attack but neither side could turn it into points in the opening 20 minutes.
It was the Bulldogs who opened the scoring in the 28th minute of play through five-eighth Josh Reynolds. The visitors earned a repeat set after a bizarre passage of play but from there the St George Dragons junior controlled the set and once he had the ball in his hands he simply put the fend on Ben Hunt and slipped through to score. The recently re-signed Trent Hodkinson converted to put the lead out to 6-nil.
In what was a controversial moment soon after, Josh Morris was penalised for a shoulder charge with Corey Oates on the run. That gave the home side a full set in an attacking position and it was a Ben Hunt cross-kick with Oates then taking the kick and going over to score. In his 300th game, Scott Prince was unable to convert with the Bulldogs holding on to a slendour lead, 6-4.
Thats how it remained until the break with neither side able to register any further points.
The second half saw the Broncos open the scoring and hit the lead for the first time of the match. It was again off the boot of Hunt with the halfback this time putting in a smart grubber that centre Jack Reed won the race to and then he went over to score. Prince converted on this occasion with the Broncos now leading 10-6 after 51 minutes.
Five minutes the Bulldogs answered back with a brilliant try to Krisnan Inu. It was a Barba break up the centre of the field that sparked the movement and once the fullback hit traffic he got it out to Josh Jackson and then on to Inu who beat three men to cross for the try. Hodkinson couldnt convert from out wide with the scores level at 10-all.
The next points came in the 72nd minute with Hodkinson electing to take a field goal after the Bulldogs had failed to turn a large amount of pressure into more points. The Cabramatta junior slotted it over from 15m out and directly in front to break the deadlock and put the blue and whites in front 11-10.
An error coming out of their own end handed the Broncos possession in good field position and with the defence again aiming up it was again the boot that orchestrated the try. This time around it was Panthers bound Peter Wallace who put in a cross-kick and Oates again picked up the scraps and went over to score. Prince converted to register the win for the home side.
The Bulldogs will now have to wait and see the result out of the Sharks and raiders match to see who they will play in week one of the finals. The match will be scheduled on Sunday afternoon so keep an eye on the Bulldogs website for all the details.
BRONCOS 16 (Oates 2, Reed Tries; Prince 2 Goals)
BULLDOGS 11 (Reynolds, Inu Tries; Hodkinson 1 Goal; Hodkinson 1 Field Goal)
At: Suncorp Stadium