With the scores locked up at 34-all after 80 minutes of normal time, the referee called the team captains over for a new coin toss. Moments later, both sides found themselves in uncharted waters as they entered the Golden Point period for the first time since the new rule came into being.
In the 88th minute, Manly were awarded a penalty and with two minutes remaining in extra time, Ben Walker [pictured] made no mistake and the Sea Eagles were declared the winners.
The result ends a frustrating afternoon for the Eels who went into halftime leading 24-18 and with 13 minutes remaining, held a handy 34-24 lead.
But Manly struck back in the dying stages with tries to Scott Donald and Ben Walker to force the match into extra time.
Scorers: SEA EAGLES 36 Tries: Donald 2, Watmough, Reeves, Cannings, Walker Goals: Walker 6/7 EELS 34 Tries: Hopkins, Wagon, Witt, Petersen, Morris, Tonga Goals: Witt 5/6
Sunday 18 May 2003 Brookvale Oval Referee: Steve Lyons Crowd: 10,387
League Unlimited player of the year points: 3 - B Walker (Sea Eagles) 2 - A Watmough (Sea Eagles) 1 - D Widders (Eels)
By the clock: Kickoff!
9 min: TRY - Manly. Anthony Watmough scores. Conversion Ben Walker successful. Manly 6-0
13 min: TRY - Eels. Lee Hopkins scores. Micheal Witt conversion. 6-all
17 min: TRY - Eels. Daniel Wagon scores. Witt conversion. Eels 12-6
22 min: TRY - Manly. Brendon Reeves. Conversion Walker. 12-all
28 min: TRY - Manly. Scott Donald. Conversion successful. Manly 18-12
31 min: TRY - Eels. Witt scores. Conversion successful. 18-all
38 min: TRY - Eels. Petersen scores. Conversion successful. Eels 24-18
45 min: TRY - Manly. Cannings scores. Conversion successful. 24-all
50 min: TRY - Eels. Morris scores. Conversion successful. Eels 30-24
67 min: TRY - Eels. Tonga scores. Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 34-24
70 min: TRY - Manly. Donald gets a double Conversion unsuccessful. Eels 34-28
74 min: TRY - Manly. Ben Walker scores and then converts to lock it all up. Odds on for a golden point. 34-all
80 min: Times up and we're into extra time for the first time since the new rule came into being. ----------------------------------------------
85 min: Five minutes into uncharted waters and the scores are still locked up at 34-all
88 min: PENALTY GOAL - Manly. Parramatta penalised for picking up ball in offside position. Ben Walker kicks the goal and Manly are declared the winners. Follows two previous attempts from Walker and one attempt from Witt to kick a field goal. Manly 36-34
THE GOLDEN POINT For the first time, the NRL has instigated a 'golden point' rule to break draws at fulltime. The following is an extract from the rule book:
• If the scores are equal at the conclusion of normal time, a period of extra-time will follow whereby the first scorer of any points will be immediately declared the winner.
• If no points are scored after 5 minutes, the teams will immediately change ends.
• If no points have been scored after another period of five minutes, the game will be declared a draw.
• At the commencement of the first extra period, each team will be allocated 2 extra interchanges.