Eagles crash land
By www.news.com.au 29/4/2005
BLOODIED Shaun Berrigan grabbed his first career
hat-trick of tries as Brisbane smashed competition
leaders Manly at Suncorp Stadium.
The Broncos grounded the high flying Sea Eagles who until
tonight had won five of their six games and conceded an
average of just 19 points a game.
Tonight they couldn't control a rampant Bronco machine
which piled on eight tries in a flashy display set up by
a sizzling 30 point first half.
The victory makes Broncos leader Wayne Bennett the first
coach in rugby league to win 300 games.
The score would have been more embarrassing for the
visitors except Darren Lockyer landed just three from
eight kicks, although some were from acute angles.
Prop Shane Webcke was a man possessed, belting the ball
into Manly's defence along with fellow front-rower Petero
It allowed giant forward Brad Thorn to come into the
attack and further soften up Manly's pack before the ball
found its way out the Broncos backs.
Berrigan, forced to leave the field to have a scalp wound
bandaged in the opening minutes, returned to score in the
17th and 27th minute as Manly's defence buckled and then
cracked under Brisbane's sustained attack.
He made it a hat-trick and 10 tries for the season soon
after half time, crashing over to continue the onslaught.
Manly were forced to make 168 tackles to Brisbane's 87
and also missed 18 tackles which against Brisbane
condemned them to a tough night.
Rugby league's oldest player Darren Smith looked like a
rookie dashing through a yawning gap to score Brisbane's
first try when the contest was just four minutes old.
A late inclusion for Test lock Tonie Carroll, Smith's try
was set up by another late replacement Casey McGuire,
filling in for injured hooker Barry Berrigan, who
wrong-footed the Sea Eagles defence.
Centre Justin Hodges scored his second try of the season,
replacement forward Neville Costigan got in on the act
and when fullback Karmichael completed the 40 minute
rout, Manly was down and out 30-0.
Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart had a woeful first
half, dropping bombs and being tossed into touch by
Berrigan trying to run the ball out of goal.
A few players later, Hodges carried Stewart over for his
Brisbane were on fire but they were fuelled by a mountain
of early possession which they converted into six first
Manly's best chance of scoring in the first half was
snuffed out by Lockyer after second-rower Steve Menzies
broke into Brisbane's 20 metre zone.
They scored two consolation tries through forward Anthony
Watmough, their best player, who showed some classy
footwork to run around Brisbane fullback Hunt in the 60th
minute and in the 76th minute when hooker Luke Williamson
scrambled over wide out.
Coach Wayne Bennett had the luxury of taking champion
play maker Darren Lockyer out of the game with 15 minutes
remaining when teenager Berrick Barnes handed his first
S Berrigan 3, J Hodges, S Minto,
D Smith, N Costigan, K Hunt
D Lockyer 3 from 8.
A Watmough, L Williamson
M Witt 2 from 2