Eels romp Broncos as NRL bargain buy stars

·3-min read

Parramatta bargain-buy Bryce Cartwright had one of his best NRL games in recent years as the Eels thumped error-riddled Brisbane 46-6 in stifling Darwin heat.

In his third game for the Eels on Friday, the 26-year-old tipped the ball on for hat-trick hero Maika Sivo to score in the first half, then scored his first try since round five last year.

After a horror few years with the Gold Coast, Cartwright has warmed into his form for the Eels and again showed signs he's shaking off the dark days at TIO Stadium.

"I'm really happy for him because every bit of advice on the way we want him to play, and he's trying to change how he plays, he's taken it all on board," coach Brad Arthur said.

"He sees that's how he needs to fit into our team and he showed that tonight.

He tried extremely hard against the Dragons a couple of weeks ago and pushed a couple of passes.

"We don't need him to do that.

"He's got plenty of skill, he doesn't need to worry about that, that will come, but he's learning that you need to earn the right."

The Eels ran riot in the eight-try rout in front of a sell-out Darwin crowd as the Broncos slumped to their fourth straight loss with 51 missed tackles.

Prop Payne Haas was again their best player on the field which was remarkable considering he's observing Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

The hulking prop does not eat or drink during daylight hours.

The feat is made even more difficult in the sweltering Darwin heat with the mercury still hovering at 30 degrees at kick off.

Still, the NSW Origin prop churned through 171 metres, and eight tackle-breaks in a mammoth 60-minute performance in the loss.

But that's where the good news ended for the Broncos.

After signing an NRL deal with the Broncos earlier in the week, ex-Newcastle and Manly hooker Danny Levi made a meal of his first touch.

Following a promising dart from dummy half, the former Kiwis No.9 offloaded with the tryline in front of him and headbutted the ball to no one.

Parramatta were ready and went the length of the field to score in the next set.

The moment summed up the night for the Broncos who started on the worst possible note when skipper Alex Glenn went down in the warm-up with a calf injury that is expected to keep him out for a few weeks.

Fullback Xavier Coates then knocked on the ball from the kick off and Sivo scored his first of three for the night in the next set.

The Broncos had hoped to back up their best performance of the season against Penrith last week but instead they fizzled to their sixth loss of the year.

"We just didn't control the ball," coach Kevin Walters said.

"When you're turning the ball over to a good side like Parramatta constantly they'll just roll through you.

"It's really disappointing."