miracle ball puts Broncos on ice
By James MacSmith
An impossible pass from Manly
halfback Luke Dorn and some terrible ill discipline from
Broncos veteran Andrew Gee made a forgettable week for
Brisbane even worse last night as the Sea Eagles defeated
the home side at Suncorp Stadium.
Brisbane led 20-16 midway through the second half and
looked set to steal a win after Manly had dominated the
first half before luck again deserted the Broncos.
In a week in which they lost star players Darren Lockyer
and Gorden Tallis to injury for around a month, the loss
will put a hole in their hopes for a top-four finish.
But it was an incredible effort from Dorn to put Aaron
Cannings over that gave Manly a slender 22-20 lead after
Dorn looked to pass to his right but spun his hands
completely around to get the ball away to Cannings on the
short side to score.
Manly then extended their lead with two goals in the
final nine minutes to Luke Williamson, after Gee gave
away some needless penalties with silly play, to secure
the unexpected win.
Brisbane were hamstrung by the demands of their
representative players who backed up from Friday night's
Test, but Manly showed great spirit to fight back.
Brisbane started the second half with a lot more
enthusiasm than the first and struck the first blow
through Ben Ikin in the 46th minute after Shaun Berrigan
dashed through the Manly line and offloaded to Ben Ikin,
who struggled slowly to the line.
Michael De Vere converted and Brisbane had cut the
half-time deficit to 14-12.
A rampaging Dane Carlaw scored in the 51st minute for the
home side to hit the lead and when Berrigan, who had a
sensational second half for Brisbane, sent Carl Webb over
for a try with 15 minutes left, the Broncos looked set to
surge home, but it wasn't to be.
Manly had the better of territory and possession early
and were able to capitalise in the ninth minute.
After a strong 40-metre charge from Danny Lima, the Sea
Eagles threw the ball wide to the left through quick
hands, Brisbane were caught short and former Eel Scott
Donald crossed for the visitors to lead 4-0.
With four players backing up less than a day after the
Test match, centre Brent Tate being rested, and injured
duo Lockyer and Tallis watching, Brisbane were looking to
their non-representative players to lift for this game,
and it was through Corey Parker the Broncos struck back
almost immediately after Donald's try.
After successive penalties the home side found themselves
in Manly's 20-metre zone for the first time of the night.
Ikin switched the point of attack down the left-hand
blind side before Berrigan got a clever offload away for
Kiwi Test representative Richard Swain to pass to Parker,
who had little trouble shrugging off some poor Manly
defence for Brisbane's first try of the night.
From a difficult angle near the sideline De Vere
converted and the Broncos lead 6-4 after 14 minutes.
|MANLY 26 (S
Donald 2, A Watmough, A Cannings tries; L Williamson 5
BRISBANE 20 (C Parker, B
Ikin, D Carlaw, C Webb tries; M De Vere 2 goals)
at Suncorp Stadium.
Referee: Sean Hampstead.
Brendon Reeves, Scott Donald, Albert Torrens, Ben
MacDougall, Mitch Creary, Ben Walker, Luke Dorn, Jason
King, Chad Randall, Danny Lima, Solomon Haumono, Luke
Williamson, Steve Menzies (c). Interchange: Aaron
Cannings, Sam Harris, Tony Jensen, Kevin McGuinness.