Sudden death football is a wonderful incentive for most. However the North Queensland Cowboys have failed to capitalise on a poor first half from the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. A marvelous second 40 minutes has seen the home side beat the clock in the second half with a 42-8 victory at the Sydney Football Stadium.
It started with end to end football from both sides but the dead-lock was broken when Cowboys captain Johnathan Thurston opted for the penalty goal in the 15th minute, 0-2 Cowboys.
Only a single try was to be scored in the opening exchanges as Willie Tonga crossed thanks to a kick from his captain. 27 minutes lapsed and the Cowboys extended to the half time score of 8-0.
During the half time break, something changed in the Manly sheds. They were on song as they scored 42 unanswered points thereafter.
The raid started 8 minutes in when William Hopoate stepped off a Brett Stewart ball to plant it down over the line. Lyon have had a great night with the ball as he converted all his goals.
Stewart has racked up some great tries over his career and tonight he added two more to make it 110 carrer tries. Daly Cherry-Evans set up Stewart to dive over after Jamie Lyon opened up the Cowboys' line. 56 minutes gone and the Manly side held the lead for the first time in the clash, 12-8.
Cherry-Evans' skill was on display, as his kick hit the goal posts and fell perfectly for Anthony Watmough to stroll over. On review from the man upstairs the try was awarded. Lyon converted in the 62nd minute to extend the lead to 10, 18-8.
Free flowing was the theme Manly opted with in the second half as the Cowboys seemed fall alway. Stewart bagged his double in the 70th minute due to a great run from Tony Williams. Manly commanded the 24-8 lead.
Jamie Lyon was thankful for the next 4-pointer has he almost bomb the try himself. Nevertheless he popped a pass out to his namesake Burher to reached out and grounded the ball on the line. Manly 30-8 in the 73rd minute.
In the action again was rookie of the year, Daly Cherry-Evans who put his boot to good use as he grubbered into the line for Hopoate to run through to collect his own double. 4 minutes from the siren and Manly didn't look like they could be stopped, 36-8.
The Sea Eagles tonight were dominate as the victory was sealed, signed and delivered by Jamie Buhrer. He held his own to streak into open space to set up Matt Ballin for a 4-pointer. The conversion meant the Sea Eagles had beat the second half clock with points as the siren sounded. Manly comfortable winners 42-8.
As a result of the win tonight. The St. George Illawarra Dragons will live to fight another day in the 2011 Finals Series. Whilst the New Zealand Warriors are now sweating on the Melbourne Storm to defeat the Newcastle Knights at AAMI Park tomorrow.
Manly Sea Eagles 42 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 8
National Rugby League - Finals Week 1 - Saturday September 10, 2011 8:30pm
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Gavin Badger
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: David Abood and Luke Potter
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 0 North Queensland Cowboys 8
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Daly Cherry-Evans
2 Points - Tony Williams
1 Point - Brett Stewart (2 Tries)
MANLY SEA EAGLES (42)
Tries: Matt Ballin, Brett Stewart (2), Anthony Watmough, William Hopoate (2), Jamie Buhrer
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (7/7)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (8)
Tries: Willie Tonga
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good Evening League fans we are about 30 minutes from kick off here at the Sydney Football Stadium. It's 2nd versus 7th tonight.
In team news:
Cowboys: Hooker Aaron Payne has been swapped with James Segeyaro on the bench. Whilst Jason Taumalolo has not been required as Corey Paterson (18) has been brought in.
Manly: Just one change with Tony Williams getting a start with Vic Mauro being relegated.
We are not long now from kick off now. Manly are heavily backed favourites heading into this clash. However you can't write off the Cowboys with the talent of Johnathan Thurston featuring in their line up. As the North Queenslander finished in 7th it's sudden death for them here at the SFS.
A poor crowd as build up here and it's disappointing to see that fans haven't turned up as they would of at Brookvale Oval. We will have kick off any moment now.
1 min: TIME ON! Ben Cummins and Gavin Badger are the men in pink tonight. Manly getting the first use as Johnthan Thurston kicks off here in the second of the Saturday Night finals.
1 min: Some good metres early from Manly as they almost found halfway. Matt Bowen caught and returned it to the defensive line.
1 min: Matt Bowen's kick downfield failed to find open space with Will Hopoate in at fullback collected it on the full
2 min: Good set from Manly as they spread it wide and looking for a hole. However the kick from Cherry-Evans was charged down by Matt Scott and the Cowboys attacking from the Manly 40 metre line.
3 min: First Penalty of the Night against the Cowboys for the ball being thrown away. A possible try when begging for the Cowboys at the line as the grubber kick found the pads of the goals. Manly have the ball from the 20m line.
4 min: Hand from the Cowboys on the ball which gives the Manly side the tackle count restart. Attacking strongly in the Cowboys 40 metre line.
5 min: Great defence from the Cowboys as the Manly side failed to find the line with Shane Rodney breaking almost into space. Cherry-Evans kicking on the back of the set and it was collected beautifully covered by Ray Thompson
6 min: TIME OFF! Steve Matai is down with the trainer and getting some assistance.
6 min: Ashley Graham has been placed on report for the hit on Matai across the face. As a result a penalty has been awarded to Manly.
6 min: Play is back underway from the penalty. Manly are attacking on the Cowboys 40 metre line.
6 min: Manly going left to right across field with Kieran Foran sliding into touch thanks to some strong Cowboys defence. Cowboys getting the scrum feed on their own 20 metre line.
8 min: Forward pass call from the officials against the Cowboys with a nice run around play. Fair call as Manly get the scrum feed just inside the halfway line.
9 min: ZERO! Manly going close at the Cowboys line in that set, however the movement right to left saw a Cowboys hand in it and the tackle count restarted.
10 min: KNOCK ON! Jamie Lyon knocking on the ball running through the line. Cowboy getting the scrum feed at their 10 metre line.
12 min: Matt Bowen has belted the ball into the first row of the grandstand. Manly as a result get the ball.
12 min: Johnathan Thurston getting his hands on the ball as it was passed. Cowboys coming away with it.
13 min: Penalty to the Cowboys now against Steve Matai for laying too long in the ruck.
13 min: Another penalty to the Cowboys for Manly having a hand on the ball.
13 min: PENALTY GOAL
Back to back penalties have seen the Cowboys captain opt for the 2-pointer with the penalty goal.
North Queensland Cowboys 2-0
16 min: Cowboys showing their attacking hand against Manly however a knock on with the quick hands. Scrum feed packing for the Sea Eagles.
17 min: Penalty to the Cowboys for an obstruction from Steve Matai. Their attack is poor tonight from Manly. Cowboys with a great chance from halfway.
19 min: Manly defence holding at the line. Cowboys looking for points with a nice cross field kick however it bounces away from the runner in Ashley Graham. Manly as a result the 20 metre tap.
19 min: An early kick going low to the feet of Matt Bowen on his 20 metre line.
20 min: Thurston's kick rolling dead behind the goals as the Cowboys attacking set fairly good. Manly with another 20m tap.
21 min: FaiFai Loa comfortable under the high ball for the Cowboys on his 10 metre line. Manly's attack is still lacking during this first half.
22 min: Matt Bowen stabs a kick downfield to be taken on the Manly 10 metre line. End to end stuff here for the best part of the last 10 minutes.
23 min: Foran's kick rolls dead and the Cowboys get the 20m tap. Defence is holding for both sides here with no tries yet to be scored. The Cowboys look the better side so far.
24 min: Brett Stewart getting trapped in goal as JT's kick holds up and the defences holds him in. This is the Cowboy's chance to extend their 2 point lead.
25 min: KNOCK ON! Trying to get the ball from the Cowboys as JT passing wide to the left across field. Manly fans should be worried.
26 min: Another penalty to the Cowboys for Manly laying in the ruck at the line.
27 min: TRY
On the back of a penalty, the Cowboys through the kick of Johnathan Thurston have scored with Willie Tonga running through the Manly line.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-0
29 min: From the try the Cowboys holding with their set and JT kicking downfield to Brett Stewart
30 min: A massive kick high in the air from Daly Cherry-Evans which is taken on the full by Matt Bowen.
30 min: Flying through was Steve Matai and a penalty firstly was ruled to the Cowboys, however the ruling being reserved with Matt Bowen penalised for pulling Matai's hair.
32 min: KNOCK ON! Cowboys escaping the raid of the Sea Eagles as George Rose as lost control of the ball as he fell to ground.
34 min: Cherry-Evans' kick deemed to go dead as it collected the corner post on the way over the sideline. Cowboys getting the 20 metre tap.
35 min: Messy play from the Cowboys which saw Cherry-Evans get a hand in and out of the ruck. Manly have it.
35 min: Tony Williams getting the Manly pack forward and then Cherry-Evans forced the penalty and catching the markers offside. Manly have a chance now to hit back with points.
36 min: KNOCK ON! Brent Tate trying to steal the ball and looking for the intercept however knocking it down. Manly with the scrum feed.
37 min: Tony Williams looking to create something at the line and as a result hands it back to the Cowboys with the offload.
38 min: Cowboys quick to get out of their own half with a penalty. Then getting a further 10 metres for back chat.
38 min: Bowen miss kicked the touch finder, however it fixed it self up and the Cowboys have it only metres from the line. From one penalty the Cowboys went 100 metres.
39 min: Forward pass the call against the Cowboys as the ball was shifted to the wing. Scrum feed to the Manly side.
40 min: HALFTIME: Jamie Lyon running the ball dead for Manly. Cowboys on top with an 8 point lead at the break.
The North Queensland Cowboys despite being outsiders coming into this sudden death clash with the Manly Sea Eagles, have remained on top for most of this opening 40 minutes. Their attack has been fairly good with some opportunity gone begging. Manly on the other hand have been lacking with their attack running sideways when they have been in possession.
A poor crowd at the SFS hasn't seen many "home" penalties fall to Manly. It will be an interesting second half as the Manly side need to start the second half firing much like the Wests Tigers did after being lead by the Dragons in their clash last night.
40 min: We are back underway here at the SFS for the second half. Cowboys getting the first use with the kick off coming through Manly.
40 min: Great attacking set from the Cowboys as they make it over the Manly 40 metre line.
42 min: Cherry-Evans kick going downfield and bouncing into touch and the Cowboys getting the scrum feed .
43 min: Manly not learning from their sets in the first half was their attacking style has not changed. Running sideways still.
45 min: Matt Bowen making easy work of the kicks tonight. Bowen has been returning ball strongly into the Manly line.
46 min: Shane Rodney into open space as he took the lose ball from JT as his pass went to ground. Danger time for the Cowboys now.
48 min: TRY
Manly continuing their attacking raid left to right across field. The defence opening up as Hopoate running and stepping off the inside ball of Stewart. Planting it down just over the line. Lyon converting from the sideline.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-6
52 min: Crossfield kick from Cherry-Evans allowed to bounce and the Cowboys come up with it.
53 min: Manly defence is stepping up and holding the Cowboys out and staying in their 30 metre line.
53 min: TIME OFF! Corey Paterson has gone down and some serious concern remains for him.
53 min: Time is still off. Shane Rodney has been place on report for a high shot. The Medi-cab has been brought on the field for Paterson. He is being placed in a neck brace. The issue lays with his neck getting caught on the thigh of Rodney.
53 min: Time back on here at the SFS. Penalty as a result of the High tackle coming to the Cowboys. Corey Paterson has been taken from the field.
54 min: Penalty going to the Manly side for the Cowboys being caught offside. Attacking chance now inside the 20 metre line.
55 min: Another penalty to the Manly Sea Eagles for the Cowboys holding down the ruck. Quick tap taken.
56 min: TRY
It started with Jamie Lyon breaking the tackle and spinning away from the defence. The pass finding Cherry-Evans and then he popped it back on the inside as he fell to ground to Brett Stewart who dived over for his 110th career try. Great attack from the Sea Eagles. Jamie Lyon no issues with the conversion.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-8
60 min: Manly have found their step getting almost 60 metres in their set with a strong running from all involved. Cowboys attacking from the kick inside their own 10 metres.
61 min: Matt Bowen forced to kick inside their own half and Brett Stewart makes easy work of the kick.
62 min: VIDEO REFEREE DECISION PENDING FOR THE MANLY SEA EAGLES. Possible TRY to Anthony Watmough
62 min: TRY
Video Referee spins up the green lights for Anthony Watmough. It started with Cherry-Evans showing some skill to get the ball to bounce off the posts for Watmough to capitalise on it and score. Jamie Lyon again no issues with the kick to convert.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-8
65 min: Cherry-Evans kicking downfield and finding touch. Scrum feed going to the Cowboys.
67 min: Line drop coming for the Cowboy as Dallas Johnsons kicks into the line and Hopoate forced it dead.
68 min: Video Referee Decision Pending for the Cowboys. We are checking a possible obstruction. We aren't looking at grounding Doesn't look like a try.
68 min: NO TRY! Red lights coming for the Cowboys. Penalty for an obstruction against JT.
69 min: TRY
Brett Stewart makes it a double. Manly getting it forward again through the Cowboys line through Tony Williams, and then Brett Stewart streaked away to score.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-8
72 min: Penalty to the Manly Sea Eagles for a two-on-one strip.
73 min: Another visit to the Video Referee. Manly are embarrassing the Cowboy now.
73 min: TRY
Linking Jamie's. Lyon bombed the try firstly and then passed it off to Buher to reach out and plant it on the line to score.
Manly Sea Eagles 30-8
75 min: Foran into open space and looking for Brett Stewart. he found him but Stewart looking for support failed to.
76 min: TRY
From the Foran break in the previous play. Cherry-Evans placing a grubber in the in goal area for William Hopoate to run through plant it down before the dead ball line. Lyon converts from the sideline.
Manly Sea Eagles 36-8
78 min: Into open space now is Jamie Buher and Manly will streak away and score.
79 min: TRY
They are keeping pace with the clock. 40 points in 40 minutes. Jamie Burher into open space to start it all. Matt Ballin backing up in support to clean it all up with a try.
Manly Sea Eagles 42-8
80 min: FULLTIME: The Manly have constructed a strong second half performance to beat the clock in scoring 42 unanswered points in the second 40. The Cowboys started well, but the half time break saw a massive swing in attitude and like the Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium last night got the win.