The Brisbane Broncos‘ season has been so bad but despite hitting new lows almost every week, the side have found a new way to hit rock bottom.
Without even playing today, the Broncos season is at an all-time low, now sitting last on the NRL ladder following the Canterbury Bulldogs‘ shock 26-16 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
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In a result that almost no one expected, the Bulldogs raced out to a 20-0 lead after 27 minutes and stunned the finals bound Rabbitohs.
The Rabbitohs were heavily criticised throughout the match but Channel 9‘s Phil Gould took the biggest swipe in the first half.
“They‘ve had South Sydney all over the place,” Gould said.
“South Sydney when they‘re energetic and setting the tone, that’s when they’re at the best. But sometimes they come out like they are tonight and kind of just warm into the task and only doing what they have to do to contain their opposition.
“There‘s not that bristling energy I like to see from them. They’re not here South Sydney.”
In a controversial first half, the Rabbitohs saw Jaydn Su‘A sin binned for a hit that left the Bulldogs’ Lachlan Lewis stumbling, with the Bulldogs scoring twice in quick succession.
But when getting back to 13-on-13, the Rabbitohs scored through Jaxson Paulo, despite his foot sliding into touch before grounding the ball.
The Rabbitohs scored again before halftime and it looked like the finals bound Rabbitohs might run over the top of Canterbury with an early try in the second half, but Chris Smith grounding a grubber deep in the in-goal all but sealed the result.
The Bulldogs put in some inspirational efforts in defence to deny the Rabbitohs but while the win was extra special on Canterbury skipper Josh Jackson‘s 200th game.
And it pushes the Bulldogs into 15th on the ladder.
It was why post match all the talk was about the Broncos.
In a horrendous season, the Broncos have lost their last nine – a club record – and have the worst points differential in the league at -326, 146 points behind the Bulldogs.
The only way the Broncos can avoid its first wooden spoon is with a win over the Parramatta Eels tomorrow night or the North Queensland Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium next Thursday night.
The Bulldogs have another chance for a win, but it will have to come against the ladder leading Penrith Panthers.
However, to NRL fans on social media, the Broncos deserve to finish in last place.
SMH sports reporter Sam Phillips tweeted: “I‘ve said it for a few months now – the Broncos deserve the spoon this year. Up you go @NRL_Bulldogs. Well deserved W” while his colleague Phil Lutton wrote: ”Broncos now odds on to come last. Amazing”.
AAP‘s Scott Bailey tweeted: “It’ll be one of the few just things of 2020 if Brisbane are handed the wooden spoon next week. Rarely has it ever been more deserved.”
He also added that if Newcastle can beat the Dragons and Titans, the side will now get a home final, the club‘s first since 2006.