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NRL Magic Round delivers as Broncos, Warriors win thrillers

NRL Magic Round news

The NRL’s Magic Round did not disappoint, with a host of riveting contests going down to the wire.

Five of the eight matches were decided by a try or less, and all but one game — the Storm’s trouncing of Parramatta — had a final margin of less than 12 points.

Meanwhile, an under-strength New Zealand Warriors team pulled off the shock of the season so far, defeating the three-time defending champions Penrith.

Magic Round begins with impressive wins for Broncos and Sharks

Two of the big results over the weekend were recorded by the Brisbane Broncos and Cronulla Sharks.

Brisbane have been slammed with injuries this year, but they managed to get across the line on Friday night. Up against a Manly Sea Eagles side that had been playing some decent rugby league earlier in the season, the Broncos were without playmaker Adam Reynolds.

The Broncos raced out to a 12-0 lead but then became locked in a gritty arm-wrestle with Manly. In the end, it was a hard-fought 13-12 win for Kevin Walters’ side.

While the footy was a bit hard to watch at times, you can’t help thinking that a tight win without Reynolds was exactly what Brisbane needed at this stage of the season.

Saturday afternoon at Suncorp Stadium was headlined by a clash between two of the competition’s in-form sides, the Sharks and Roosters. A whopping 11 tries were scored across the match, with Cronulla edging Sydney 38-30 in a thriller.

With the win, the Sharks sit clear top of the NRL table now on 20 points.

Warriors reignite 2024 campaign with upset for the ages

But the real thrills came on Sunday afternoon, when the Warriors pulled off the unthinkable.

Heading into this round, the Kiwi side hadn’t won in over a month. They were rocked by injuries as well, with 10 players unavailable — including stars Shaun Johnson and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.

With +350 odds to win at bookmaker PlayUp, plus eight straight losses in a row to Penrith, this one wasn’t looking good for the Warriors.

However, the New Zealanders turned up in force on Sunday and played out of their skins. Young fullback Taine Tuaupiki announced himself, bagging a try and kicking three conversions — including the eventual match-winner with eight minutes to go.

Penrith nearly forced golden point when they were awarded a controversial penalty in the last minute for an illegal strip. Dylan Edwards was unable to capitalise, however, pushing the shot to the right of the posts as the match ended 22-20 in favour of the Warriors.

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