Victor Radley is facing bans that could prevent a potential State of Origin debut after being placed on report four times in Brisbane’s upset 34-16 victory over Sydney Roosters.
In Saturday’s other NRL matches, the Melbourne Storm thrashed Canberra 34-10 and Gold Coast defeated Canterbury 30-20.
Radley, a New South Wales hopeful, was sin-binned twice for high contact on Albert Kelly in the first half and on Tevita Pangai Junior in the second.
He was then put on report for the third and fourth times in the second half — once for a high shot on Jamayne Isaako and later for laying a shoulder into Xavier Coates on the ground.
It was a horror night for the Roosters firebrand, who is in line for an Origin debut when the teams are picked at the end of round 12.
The first incident came just 13 minutes in when Radley jumped to put Kelly flat on his back, but his shoulder caught the Broncos five-eighth in the chin.
The next came two minutes into the second half when he put a similar shot on Pangai Junior and was marched to the sin-bin for the second time.
In the midst of an NRL crackdown on contact with the head and neck and with Origin looming, it could not be poorer timing for Radley.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson was measured in the post-match media conference, saying Radley needed to find a way to play his physical brand of football without going high.
“He was slightly off on the contacts,” Robinson said.
“It’s trying to work out how to be physical in this game, and you just can’t go that high, you’ve got to make sure you get it lower.
“I don’t think there was intent there on any of those.”
The already-depleted Roosters side will also be sweating over others when the charge sheet comes out on Sunday morning with Jared Waerea-Hagreaves, Isaac Liu and Joey Manu also placed on report in a bizarre game.
On a night that was supposed to be all about 17-year-old Joseph Suaalii’s debut for the Roosters, the Broncos flipped the script.
A week after the Broncos conceded 50 points to Manly, they sprung the upset of the season against the Roosters, who have outscored them 117-12 in their past two games.
Despite a stunning first-half performance from James Tedesco to lay on three tries, the Roosters trailed 16-14 at half-time and struggled to find their form against the fiery Broncos.
Recalled five-eighth Kelly could prove the key Broncos have been missing all season after his performance in the most unlikely of wins.
The 30-year-old has not played NRL football in seven seasons but his experience added spark to the Broncos attack.
Kelly set up a crucial try for John Asiata to go ahead 22-14 while Radley was off for the second time, and later kicked a 40-20 to maintain pressure on the Roosters.
Fellow veteran David Mead also starred with a hat-trick of tries, including a 95-metre sprint after snatching an intercept from Sam Walker’s cutout pass when the Roosters were winding up in attack before half-time.
Matt Lodge and Tyson Gamble were both sin-binned towards the end of the match, leaving the Broncos to polish off the win in the dying minutes with just 11 players on the field.
Storm too strong for Raiders
Nelson Asofa-Solomona led the way with two tries as the Storm delivered a record-setting hammering of the Raiders in Canberra.
The high-octane victory saw the defending premiers become the first team in NRL history to win eight games straight by more than 13 points as they improved to a 9-2 season record.
Asofa-Solomona starred for the Storm alongside talented full-back Nicho Hynes, who kicked five conversions and had more than 200 running metres.
The Raiders — wounded by injuries and missing three key players due to suspension — once again failed to score in the second half as they slipped to a 4-7 win-loss record.
The Raiders started well, bagging a try to winger Bailey Simonsson in only the second minute after a cross-field kick from George Williams.
A pinpoint kick by five-eighth Sam Williams — one of the Raiders’ best players on the night— then created a superb try with captain Elliott Whitehead crossing in the 13th minute.
Canberra dominated most of the first half with stronger attacks and high-spirited defence, especially during the first 20 minutes, before Melbourne took command.
The Storm did not score their first try until the 33rd minute mark when Asofa-Solomona powered across the line.
Soon afterward, five-eighth Chris Lewis scored an easy try after the Raiders defence was caught napping just before the break to give his team a 12-10 lead.
The Storm came out firing in the second half with an impressive try in the 48th minute by the rampaging Asofa-Solomona.
The floodgates then opened with a free-flowing try on the right side of the field by Storm centre Reimis Smith.
Second rower Tom Eisenhuth scored in the 60th minute as the Raiders fell into their second-half hole.
More scoreboard pain was piled on after rookie Trent Loiero crossed for a try with seven minutes left.
Melbourne prop Tui Kamikamica was reported for a crusher tackle against Simonsson and Raiders forward Corey Horsburgh went on report for a tackle on Asofa-Solomona.
Titans scrape past Bulldogs
Gold Coast hung on to claim a hard-fought victory over last-placed Canterbury in Robina.
After four losses in their past five matches, the Titans were not exactly convincing in their victory over the Bulldogs, which was probably too close for comfort for coach Justin Holbrook.
The result — secured without suspended trio David Fifita, Herman Ese’ese and Tyrone Peachey, as well as marquee half Ash Taylor — lifts Gold Coast to a 5-6 win-loss record after 11 games.
Defeat leaves Canterbury still searching for its second win in 2021 and rooted to the bottom of the ladder.
The Titans made a fast start when Brian Kelly’s perfectly weighted grubber found AJ Brimson for the Gold Coast fullback to opening the scoring.
The Bulldogs thought they had struck back 10 minutes later when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crashed over but the bunker ruled an obstruction on Jarrod Wallace in the build-up to deny the four-pointer.
Moments later Bulldogs backrower Chris Smith was placed on report for a crusher tackle on Phillip Sami and from the resulting penalty Gold Coast extended its lead when Tino Fa’asuamaleaui stepped through some weak defence to score his first try for the Titans.
Smith bounced back to put the Bulldogs on the board in the 25th minute when a flowing move from inside their own half created an overlap and Nick Cotric sprinted clear before feeding the ball to the supporting Smith.
More clever work by Kelly after a Brimson break allowed Sami to restore Gold Coast’s two-try advantage but the Bulldogs struck back right on half-time with Cotric crashing over.
The Bulldogs made a horror start to the second half, with Sione Katoa placed on report for a crusher tackle on Fa’asuamaleaui, before Dylan Napa was sin-binned for a high-shot on opposite number Wallace.
The Titans prop then crashed over from the next set to put the home side 14 points ahead.
Canterbury refused to go away and Kevin Proctor was placed on report for high contact on Matt Doorey, before Beau Fermor was sent to the sin-bin for a high shot on Jake Averillo, with Nick Meaney scoring from the next set to put the Bulldogs back in the game.
The Bulldogs got within four points when Englishman Luke Thompson dived over from close range after Jamal Fogarty had been placed on report for making high contact on Bulldogs five-eighth Brandon Wakeham.
But Gold Coast sealed the win with less than five minutes to play when Brimson, who signed a five-year extension during the week, completed his double after a solid bust by impressive front rower Moeaki Fotuaika.