Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a convincing 44-14 win over Brisbane Broncos tonight in round 21 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a superb crowd of 16, 280 – the Sea Eagles’ biggest home crowd of the season – at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, Manly Warringah scored four tries in a dynamic first half to lead 20-0 at half-time.
The win moves the Sea Eagles to 20 points, just two points outside the top eight. The match marked Coach Geoff Toovey’s 100th game in charge of the Sea Eagles.
Manly Warringah were denied a try in the third minute when the video referee ruled half-back Daly Cherry-Evans was held up over the line by Broncos prop Jarrod Wallace.
The home side was not to be denied 10 minutes later when winger Tom Trbojevic – called up from the Holden Cup to replace Steve Matai (concussion) – crossed for a try after a great flick pass by centre and captain Jamie Lyon for a 4-0 lead. Lyon failed to convert the try.
Five minutes later, Lyon busted the defence to put a kick through which was toed through by full-back Brett Stewart. The ball popped loose by a Broncos player trying to swoop on it only for five-eighth Kieran Foran to score for an 8-0 lead. Lyon converted to give the Sea Eagles a 10-0 lead.
Manly Warringah winger Jorge Taufua was ruled to have lost control of the ball in trying to defuse a crossfield kick on the last tackle in the 19th minute.
Lyon was rewarded with his own try when a quick ball from Cherry-Evans saw him get on the outside of Jack Reed to slide over in the 28th minute for a 14-0 lead. Lyon’s conversion attempt hit the upright and bounced away.
A freakish kick inside on the last tackle by Lyon in the 38th minute saw forward Jesse Sene-Lefao dive on the ball to score. Lyon converted to give the Sea Eagles a 20-0 lead at half-time.
The Sea Eagles lost Stewart for the second half with a leg injury.
The second half was just three minutes old when Foran scored his second try – this time a spectacular 90 metre try which started from Trbojevic taking a kick to run crossfield to link up with winger Jorge Taufua. He then raced downfield before linking up with Foran to send ‘The Foz’ on his way to the tryline. Lyon converted for a 26-0 lead.
The Broncos opened their account with a set play resulting in a try to winger Lachlan Maranta in the 50th minute. Lock Corey Parker failed to convert for a 26-4 scoreline.
Manly Warringah stretched their lead to 30-4 when second-rower Feleti Mateo took two defenders on to score in the 54th minute. Lyon converted for a 32-4 lead.
Brisbane got back to 32-8 in the 58th minute when a crossfield kick beat Tuafua for Jordan Kahu to flick the ball back inside for Justin Hodges to score. Parker failed to convert the try.
A smart grubber kick behind the line by Cherry-Evans saw Justin Horo dive on the ball to score in the 65th minute. Lyon converted the try for a 38-8 scoreline.
Reed reduced the scoreline to 38-12 when he finished off a break by Anthony Milford to score in the left corner. Parker converted the try for a 38-14 scoreline after 70 minutes.
The Sea Eagles went past the 40 points mark in the 74th minute when Trbojevic swooped on a loose pass to race 70 metres untouched to score. Lyon converted the try for a 44-14 scoreline.