Broncos now battling the odds to make the NRL finals after another loss.
Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Griffin summed up his side’s loss both literally and metaphorically when he said during the post-match press conference “we threw it away”.
With nine minutes remaining and the New Zealand Warriors behind by 16-12, Broncos halfback Scott Prince threw a pass that if it went to its intended target, would have secured a vital victory for his side.
However, the ball found the hands of speedster Konrad Hurrell who raced the other direction 90 metres to secure a remarkable victory for the Warriors.
Brisbane did a chance to send the game into golden-point when Corey Parker lined up for a shot at penalty goal as time ran out.
But much like his side’s form of late, Parker was wide of the mark and Griffin and the Broncos were left to wonder what might have been.
“We earned the right to win the game but we threw it away with that intercept,” Griffin said.
“It is disappointing to lose because there was an awful amount of effort, discipline and mental toughness in that performance.
“It hurts the most when you put in a performance like that. The positive is, we have a football team that is willing to work.
“A few weeks ago we weren’t at that level but we are now. It was a great game of football.”
Little consolation as the Broncos now sit in 12th on the ladder and must win six of their remaining nine games to scrape into the finals on 28 points.
New Zealand coach Matt Elliott said it was a gusty decision by Hurrell to rush up out of the line to nullify the overlap the Broncos has earned on his side of the field.
“It was a make-or-break play. They could have scored,” Elliott said.
“If it went the other way we would be disappointed with him but we understand what he was trying to achieve.”
Brisbane’s task of victory next weekend will be made that much tougher as they travel to Melbourne to take on a Storm side still smarting from their 18-point loss to the Wests Tigers.
New Zealand have won five in a row and sit in 10th place but their biggest test of the season comes next round in the form of runaway competition leaders South Sydney.