A lone intercept try laid on by former teammate Andrew McCullough was the only source of points for Brisbane on Thursday night as they were thumped by Newcastle 27-6.
McCullough, the Brisbane veteran who was released by the Broncos a month ago, handed his erstwhile team their first try of the night, but they didn’t get close to scoring again at Central Coast Stadium.
Since the NRL competition restarted the Broncos have not scored a second-half try and the trend continued, going into the sheds down 13-6 before conceding another two in the second half.
The loss intensifies serious concerns about the club’s attack, while dual enforcers Patrick Carrigan and Tevita Pangai Junior will sweat on match review committee findings after separate incidents on Thursday night.
Carrigan was sin-binned for a late shot on Knights halfback Mitchell Pearce midway through the second half, while Pangai Junior could face sanction for a potential shoulder charge on David Klemmer in just the fourth minute.
The Australian prop was knocked on his back by the 24-year-old Bronco after he was rocked with solid, front on contact.
It was just the first game back from a four-game ban for Pangai Junior, who has missed 12 weeks to suspension since the start of last season.
Knights half Kurt Mann had a hand in both first-half tries for the Knights, scoring in the 10th minute and then putting in a cross-field kick for winger Hymel Hunt shortly after the first of two sin-binnings.
In the 21st minute Broncos fullback Jamayne Isaako was sin-binned 10 metres off his own line when Kalyn Ponga rushed to play the ball.
It followed a directive from the NRL earlier this week warning players would be sin-binned for professional fouls, slowing down the ruck or jumping offside in defence.
An intercept pass thrown by McCullough gave the Broncos their only try, when on the line, he threw a flat pass intended for Edrick Lee but it found Xavier Coates instead.
The teenage speedster ran 100 metres untouched to score in the 30th minute, but that’s where it dried up for the Broncos who struggled to complete in the attacking zone.
For the Knights, it was another dominant performance up front for NSW prop Daniel Saifiti who has found career best form in 2020.
Just four minutes after halftime the 24-year-old charged across the line through Broncos defenders Issac Luke, Joe Ofahengaue and Pangai Junior to all but wrap up the game.
A late try to Pearce under the posts polished off the win.
It’s the fourth consecutive loss for the Broncos who will now face the Gold Coast at Suncorp Stadium next weekend.
For Newcastle, the win knocked them up to second on the ladder.
They will face North Queensland in Townsville on Saturday week.