NRL Preliminary Final - Broncos v Warriors
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Ezra Mam of the Broncos celebrates with team mates after scoring a try during the NRL Preliminary Final match between Brisbane Broncos and New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Brisbane Broncos will meet the Penrith Panthers in the 2023 NRL grand final after putting 42 points on the New Zealand Warriors at Suncorp Stadium in the second NRL preliminary final on Saturday evening.

It was a chaotic opening to the game with both teams scoring tries on their first attacking opportunities of the contest.

From the time Dallin Watene-Zelezniak crossed off a run around play to the right-hand side in the fourth minute, to the time Marcelo Montoya crossed for the Warriors' third try, a total of seven four-pointers had been added to the scoreboard in just 24 minutes.

Billy Walters was the first to go over for the Broncos, scooting out of dummy half, before Watene-Zelezniak put the Warriors back in front with an intercept try.

Herbie Farnworth and Jesse Arthars then found their way over for the Broncos in back-to-back sets, before Billy Walters added his second try of the evening.

After 28 minutes, the Broncos had found a 24-12 lead despite only scoring a single extra time, with goal kicking proving a key difference as Adam Pompey missed all three for the visitors, and Adam Reynolds kicked all four for the Broncos.

The final 12 minutes of the first half saw the game unravel as both sides dropped the football over and over again, with no further additions to the scoreboard before the break.

The second half kicked off with both teams able to settle into the contest, but a controversial try for Jordan Riki in the 54th minute would kick the scoreboard back into gear.

Riki's try came off what appeared to be two forward passes in a long-range effort down the right-hand side, with a ball from Reece Walsh in particular appearing blatant.

The Broncos then found more benefit with an offside penalty stopping the Warriors from scoring off a Shaun Johnson kick, before Adam Pompey was sin binned for a professional foul.

Jordan Riki and Ezra Mam added tries while they had a man advantage, with Herbie Farnworth closing out the scoring in the 69th minute with a final try to ensure Brisbane got to 40.

It means Brisbane, who will need to improve plenty to compete with the Panthers, will head to Sydney next Sunday night to play in the grand final against the minor premiers.

Match summary

Brisbane Broncos 42 (Tries: Billy Walters [2], Herbie Farnworth [2], Jesse Arthars, Jordan Riki, Ezra Mam; Conversions: Adam Reynolds 6/6, Reece Walsh 1/1) defeat New Zealand Warriors 12 (Tries: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak [2], Marcelo Montoya; Conversions: Adam Pompey 0/3)