VIDEO: Broncos make a statement in Bulldogs drubbing
THE Broncos sounded premiership bells after rocketing into second spot on the NRL ladder and ending Canterbury's season with a 42-12 dismantling of the Bulldogs at Suncorp Stadium last night.
The 30-point drubbing flattered the Broncos in some ways given Canterbury's ineptness as the pressure mounted on under-siege Bulldogs coach Des Hasler.
Regardless, it was a win Brisbane desperately needed to stay in the all-important top four as they look to snap a 10-year title drought.
"I enjoyed our performance," Broncos coach Wayne Bennett said.
"Overall it was pretty good.
"We've had a lot of injuries this year in key positions but everyone keeps putting their hand up.
"That's all I can ask of them. They've all responded.
"It's not such a worry when we get injuries now because someone else is putting their hand up for us."
The Broncos have won four of their past five matches and will welcome back captain Darius Boyd for next Friday's clash against the Eels in Sydney.
Boyd's injection into Brisbane's clunky playmaking department will be welcome after he missed four matches with a broken thumb.
While Kodi Nikorima did little wrong in his first game at fullback, the Broncos will be a formidable outfit heading into September with Boyd back in the mix and Anthony Milford returning to full fitness.
In his second game back from a shoulder injury, Milford was rested with 15 minutes to go after Brisbane bolted out to a 36-6 lead with three quick tries in the second half.
Brisbane's seven-minute blitz followed an uninspiring first half where the Broncos could have considered themselves lucky to have a 10-point lead.
For most of the first half the Broncos attempted trick shots rather than building any form of pressure and looked lethargic when Bulldogs winger Marcelo Montoya crossed out wide.
Seemingly searching for a miracle, Hasler had the Bulldogs playing like the Ipswich Jets and Canterbury had all the running before Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough produced an opportunistic break for Newcastle-bound Tautau Moga to score.
Ben Hunt backed himself with a 20m solo effort before Jordan Kahu scored right on the half-time siren to give Brisbane an unlikely 16-6 lead, the last try popping any bubble the Bulldogs had brought into the game.
The bumbling Broncos kept Canterbury in the contest, Moga's tunnel vision bombing a certain try before Jonus Pearson dropped it cold over the line, but all that did was delay the inevitable.
Poor scrum defence by the Bulldogs allowed Nikorima to score, Josh McGuire pounced on a McCullough grubber and James "The Jet" Roberts sliced through when Canterbury had given up to effectively decide the result.
Moga racked up 155m in an impressive display while Roberts scored his second on the stroke of full-time, allowing Canterbury to start making some Mad Monday plans for the first week of the finals.