Fulltime score: Round 22 Manly Sea Eagles 21 v Brisbane Broncos 20
A desperate Manly outfit have upset competition leaders Brisbane by 21-20 in a thrilling game at Brookvale Oval this afternoon.
The Sea Eagles trailed for most of the match with the visitors opening up the scoring through Brett Seymour before Manly hit back via winger Chris Hicks. Late in the first half young Brisbane fullback Karmichael Hunt rushed in another try to take the lead with both teams trading penalty goals throughout.
With the Broncos leading 14-8 at the break, the scene was set for an exciting second half of footy and the crowd was not let down. The Sea Eagles stormed back into the contest shortly after halftime through Ashley Alberts, locking up the scores at 14-all. The next 20 minutes saw a ferocious arm wrestle with Manly prevailing in the 69th minute through a try to speedy fullback Brett Stewart before an incredible field goal by halfback Michael Monaghan from 35m out secured victory for the home team in the 74th minute.
Brisbane hit back soon after through centre Justin Hodges but it was all too late and the 13-year drought at Brookvale Oval continues for the Broncos. The loss also pokes a few holes in the Broncos� 2005 campaign ahead of next week�s blockbuster against the Dragons at Suncorp Stadium. For the Sea Eagles it provides some much needed breathing space heading into a torrid four rounds of footy that threatened to snuff out their chances of making the semis this year. With the composition of the top 8 changing each week this victory certainly gives Manly a huge boost.
Sea Eagles v Broncos match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers MANLY SEA EAGLES 21 Tries: Hicks, Alberts, Stewart Goals: Williamson 4/4 Field goals: Monoghan 1 BRISBANE BRONCOS 20 Tries: Seymour, Hunt, Hodges Goals: Seymour 4/4
Brookvale Oval Referee: Paul Simpkins Halftime: Broncos 14-8
Great weather on the Penninsula, with the Broncos searching for their first win at Brooky since 1992.
5 min: TRY - Broncos. Brett Seymour opens up the scoring after Darren Lockyer finds some space in the goal area with a crafty kick. Seymour converts his own try. Broncos 6 Sea Eagles 0.
11 min: PENALTY GOAL - Broncos. Seymour pushes the lead a little further following an indiscretion from Manly. Broncos 8 Sea Eagles 0.
20 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Chris Hicks flies away down the wing and gets over the line despite the effort of Hunt and Bott. Williamson converts to narrow the gap. Broncos 8 Sea Eagles 6.
31 min: TRY - Broncos. Hunt flies across the line after some good lead-up work from Seymour, McGuire and Lockyer. The Broncos look to be asserting their authority on the game, with Seymour booting his third of the day. Broncos 14 Sea Eagles 6.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Williamson takes another two as Lockyer moves too quickly from dummy half. Broncos 14 Sea Eagles 8.
Halftime: We go to the break with this one firmly in the balance. Both teams have been exciting to watch but a little undisciplined at times. Defense is certainly the flavour of the day but things look like they might open up in the second half. The Broncos look like they might start to up the tempo.
Proceedings have restarted here at Brooky where the Broncos are looking to break a 13-year hoodoo.
46 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Ashley Alberts breaks the line and scores a great equalising try. Willimason converts to lock-up the scoreline. Broncos 14 Sea Eagles 14.
60 min: NEWS - Both teams playing some great end to end footy with some real tough defense also. Top game here at Brooky.
69 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Brett Stewart snaps up a wayward pass from Chad Randall and scores under the posts to push the home team ahead for the first time today. Williamson converts easily. Sea Eagles 20 Broncos 14.
74 min: FIELD GOAL - Sea Eagles. Halfback and Captain Michael Monaghan snaps an absolute ripper from 35m out to clinch a 7-point lead and assume an almost unlosable position. Sea Eagles 21 Broncos 14.
76 min: TRY - Broncos. Winger Brent Tate makes a good breaks, takes on fullback Stewart and offloads for his centre partner Justin Hodges to post a great try. Seymour converts. Sea Eagles 21 Broncos 20.
Fulltime: Manly have hung on to win an absolute thriller against competition leaders Brisbane, continuing a 13-year losing sequence at Brookvale Oval for the Broncos. In doing so the Sea Eagles reinstate themselves as likely top-8 material with four rounds left to play out.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - B Stewart (Sea Eagles) 2 - M Monaghan (Sea Eagles) 1 - S Menzies (Sea Eagles) -----------------------------------------