JOSH Hoffman called it a miracle – but he wasn’t referring to his second try in Brisbane’s epic wim over North Queensland, the one that decided the match.
He was referring to the fact team-mate Jack Reed passed him the ball.
“It was actually a surprise that Reedy passed it – it’s once in a lifetime that he ever passes the ball,” said the man who has scored seven tries in the first six weeks of the season, including five in his last three appearances.
“He’s been good this season. It’s something in the pre-season we’ve been working on at training. What we’ve really been concentrating on is him passing the ball!”
Hoffman wanted to hold onto his number one jersey this season and is a reluctant flanker following the switch of Corey Norman to fullback. While his strike-rate suggests he won’t be moving any time soon, the 25-year-old could be restored to the custodial role for New Zealand against Australia on Friday night.
“I came into the season, especially the pre-season, trying to play fullback – through the trials as well,” said Hoffman.
“It was a bit of a shock when I got shifted to the wing but it’s something you’ve got to do. It’s just another job and just another position that you’ve got to play.
“It still involves a lot or running. “
Post-game discussion from the 12-10 Broncos win centred on a period of play around the 32-minute mark when referee Ashley Klein believed Bronco Corey Parker came from an offside position to make a try-saving tackle.
According to the Broncos, it was the fifth tackle at the time and when the penalty try was ruled out, North Queensland erroneously got the ball back on the third.
“You’re drawing a long bow if you want to give a penalty try for that,” said Griffin.
“He (Klein) took the tackle count back to play three. It was fifth play. We had to do (defend) three more plays after that.
“I don’t know what was going through anyone’s head for that period.
“We don’t whinge about referees but how to you lose a tackle count? We’ve got two of them out there, two on the sidelines, two upstairs and in a game like that, we’ve got to defend two or three more plays.”
According to the Cowboys, the Broncos got a break to reset their defence. Like an early penalty against Ashley Graham for tackling Norman in the air, the calls was deemed glaringly incorrect by coach Neil Henry and captain Johnathan Thurston.
“You think ‘what are the blokes looking at?’,” NQ coach Neil Henry said. “How can they get that wrong? Go figure…
“They’re momentum shifts. You make a line break, you go 50 (metres) and they’re shattered. You give them a two-minute break.
“They’ve got to get that right – Daniel Anderson, please. They’re basic calls.”
Thurston said the delay in the penalty try “rested them up. They were shattered. No doubt it should have been a penalty try or a penalty to us.
“You’ve got Ashley Klein, who’s been around for a while. You’d expect him to get the calls right.
“We’ve been on the wrong end of the calls for a while now. He’s an experienced referee. He’s got to get them right.”
Despite the enthralling spectacle, Griffin said the game “wasn’t pretty”. “We did a lot of things wrong out there, but we refused to lose,” he said.
Filed for: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD