The beleaguered Brisbane Broncos lost Corey Oates to injury as they were hammered 48-0 at Wests Tigers after Melbourne Storm thrashed Gold Coast Titans on Friday.
Broncos coach Anthony Seibold said his side had taken a “step in the right direction” after they ended a six-match NRL losing streak with a victory over Canterbury Bulldogs last weekend.
Yet they were torn apart as the Tigers made a dream return to Leichhardt Oval in the rain, scoring nine tries without reply to move up to seventh in the standings.
The hosts breached a fragile Broncos defence all too easily time and again, breezing into a 26-0 half-time lead with a brace of tries for Luciano Leilua and one apiece for David Nofoaluma, Harry Grant and Benji Marshall.
Nofoaluma and team-mates Josh Aloiai and Zac Cini, as well as two staff members, live in an area of Sydney that has seen a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases and were only cleared to play after testing negative for COVID-19.
The Tigers were relentless, Luke Garner crossing either side of scores from Sam McIntyre and Billy Walters, with Moses Mbye on target with six conversions.
Back-rower Oates suffered a leg injury late on in a punishing outing for the Broncos, who are 14th with just three wins from 10 matches.
— NRL (@NRL) July 17, 2020
The Storm also ran riot, extending their winning run to four matches with a 42-6 thumping of the Titans at Sunshine Coast Stadium.
Josh Addo-Carr and Nelson Asofa-Solomona scored doubles, while Cameron Munster, Brenko Lee and Brandon Smith also crossed as Melbourne rose to second – level on points with leaders Parramatta Eels.