Broncos get the better of Bulldogs after Staggs' mixed display

Brisbane Broncos overcame Canterbury Bulldogs 28-6 at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday to lift themselves to within touching distance of the play-off spots in a congested NRL ladder.

Kotoni Staggs was a central figure for the hosts, crossing for two tries and landing a trio of penalties as Brisbane jumped four places to ninth, a solitary point outside the post-season reckoning.

It was a mixed day for Staggs, who failed to land any of his four conversion attempts while the centre was also put on report in the first half for lifting his knees in the tackle.

Staggs was warned by referee Ben Cummins, who was officiating alongside Belinda Sharpe – the first woman to take charge of an NRL fixture.

After kicking a penalty, Staggs darted around the outside on the right for the game's first try, but the Bulldogs were level shortly after the half-hour thanks to Brandon Wakeham's maiden NRL score, having held off three defenders, and Nick Meaney's penalty.

Tevita Pangai Junior's marvellous offload allowed Darius Boyd to feed Jamayne Isaako as the Broncos regained the lead with the interval approaching, and after the restart another Staggs kick and a simple Corey Oates score had the home side in control.

Staggs barged over to double his try tally just past the hour mark and after a third successful penalty, Oates was awarded his second four-pointer when he was taken out off the ball by Dallin Watene-Zelezniak with the line at his mercy.

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