Manly have walked away from Suncorp Stadium tonight with some credibility after defeating the Brisbane side by 26 points to 20 in front of a reasonable home crowd.
Brisbane looked to have the match in their hands with about 15 to go before a big run from Albert Torrens resulted in a try for the visitors and three penalties sealed the fate for the Broncos team.
The Eagles fought hard for most of the match, never giving up and continually taking the lead or keeping in touch with the mighty Broncos outfit who had a number of players backing up from last night.
But in the end it was just too much for Brisbane, with a lot of frustration creeping into their game resulting in a bit of a stoush towards the end of the game. But take nothing away from Manly who played very well for their two competition points.
BRONCOS 20 Tries: Parker, Ikin, Carlaw, Webb Goals: De Vere 2/4 defeated by SEA EAGLES 26 Tries: Donald 2, Whatmough, Cannings Goals: Williamson 5/7
Saturday 26 July 2003 5:30 PM Suncorp Stadium Referee: Sean Hampstead
Leagueunlimited Player of the Year awards 3 - S Donald (Eagles) 2 - L Williamson (Eagles) 1 - S Webcke (Broncos)
By the clock:
The Eagles kick off and we're underway in the first half.
9 min: Not much doing until the Eagles spread the ball wide and score through Scott Donald. Manly enjoying a fair bit of field position and Brisbane looking to settle themselves into the game. Manly 4 Brisbane 0.
10 min: Luke Williamson puts in a valiant effort from the sideline, but fails to add to the score. Manly still leading 4-nil over the Broncos.
13 min: Corey Parker busts through the defence 10 metres out from the sideline and levels the scores. Ikin and Berrigan heavily involved. Scores locked up at 4-all.
14 min: De Vere snatches the lead for the Broncos with a towering conversion from the sideline that hits the opposing upright and falls back for a goal. Broncos 6 Eagles 4.
21 min: Scott Donald bags a double as he goes in over in the corner again. Video referee called to adjudicate, but there was never any doubt. Manly 8 Brisbane 6.
22 min: Williamson obviously learnt nothing from the previous kick in the exact same spot, as he pushes this one well wide.
NEWS: Minto "The Galloping Gazelle" gone for the match with an ankle injury.
27 min: Whatmough scores for the Eagles from a grubber into the in-goal area. Video referee used to decide on the try and duly awards it. Manly lead 12-6 and looking good.
28 min: Williamson converts easily. Manly 14 Brisbane 6.
NEWS: Unbelievable stuff as Scott Donald strides away the length of the field following a cross-field kick by Ben Ikin that went wrong. Donald has raced about 85 metres to put the ball down under the posts before being denied by the video referee for obstruction during the contest for the ball.
HALF TIME: Manly play out the last minute and take a 14-6 lead into the break. The Eagles looking the better side at the moment and you can tell the toll on the Brisbane players backing up is starting to impact upon their performance. Strange decision to rest Tate, who would be the youngest of the players backing up and you'd expect him to be equal to the task. Broncos should give it a shake up, but if there was ever a time for Manly to beat them, it's right now.
The Broncos kick off and we're underway in the second half.
45 min: Ikin scores next to the posts after a good run from Berrigan. Ikin looking a bit crook after the try. Manly 14 Brisbane 12.
46 min: De Vere makes no mistake with the extras. Manly leading 14-12 over the Broncos.
51 min: A crushing run by Dane Carlaw results in him scoring from about 35 metres out. Great work by the lock after backing up from last night. Brisbane really getting back into the game and are now leading by 16-14 over the Eagles.
53 min: De Vere misses a difficult attempt. Brisbane 16 Manly 14.
58 min: Manly level the scores through a penalty goal to Williamson after an offside play. 16-all with just over 20 minutes to go in the match.
64 min: Carl Webb gets on the end of a lovely pass from Berrigan and storms 40 metres to score out wide for the Broncos. Brisbane are taking control of the match and now lead 20-16 over Manly.
65 min: De Vere fails with a tough assignment out wide. Score remains Brisbane 20 Manly 16.
70 min: After a huge break from Torrens, Cannings scores for Manly through a freakish wide pass by Dorn who looks to have mistakenly thrown the ball. Scores level at 20-all.
71 min: Williamson takes the lead for the Eagles by kicking the conversion. Manly 22 Brisbane 20.
75 min: Gee gives away a penalty and Manly go for goal. Williamson boots it from 30 metres out. Manly now lead by 24-20 over Brisbane.
79 min: Manly look to have secured this one with another penalty to Willimson. Eagles 26 Broncos 20.
FULL TIME: And the Eagles walk out six-point winners over a very weary Broncos Ooutfit.