Sea Eagles v Broncos: Five key points
The embattled Sea Eagles scored a surprise win over a "flat" Broncos outfit on the Central Coast. Here are five key points from Manly's big win.
Sea Eagles lift for Toovey
It's been a tough week for the Sea Eagles but like no other team in the NRL Telstra Premiership they're a club that thrives on adversity.
So it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise that in one of the club's most tumultuous weeks, Manly pulled off one of their greatest performances to dominate ladder leaders the Broncos.
After the win captain Jamie Lyon said the team did it for their coach Geoff Toovey.
"It was definitely a motivation (playing for Toovey) we wanted to play well," Lyon said.
"Geoff was great all week and he really got us up for the game, so we're glad we got the win for him."
Broncos in the wrong frame of mind
Their sitting pretty atop the Telstra Premiership ladder but on Saturday night the Broncos received a sobering wake-up call to get blown off the Blue Tongue Stadium paddock.
"We just didn't come here in the right frame of mind and after that - it was indicative of our start - it didn’t get any better," Bennett said.
"I thought our start was as poor as we've seen a start actually."
Asked if there was any complacency in his side's performance having had such a successful season to date, Bennett was honest.
"Of course it all adds to it, that's part of it."
Broncos skipper Justin Hodges echoed his coach's sentiments.
"They just wanted it more, they turned up in the right frame of mind and we didn't," Hodges said.
Meanwhile Toovey had a frank assessment of Brisbane: "I thought the Broncos were a bit flat," he said.
Manly still a chance of making the finals
The Sea Eagles have been widely written off to make finals footy at various times this year but miraculously they now loom as a realistic chance of sneaking into the top eight.
They are now on 20 competition points – just two behind the eighth-placed Warriors.
"We're still in with a chance, we know that," Toovey said.
"All we can do is turn up every week and put a performance in and try and win the match.
"If we do that five more times, we're a good chance."
Jamie Lyon also got in on the finals discussion, touching on the importance of defeating such a highly regarded team.
"Every game's going to be hard leading into the end of the season so you’ve got to play good against the top teams," Lyon said.
"It was definitely one of our better games for the season and we scored a few tries which was definitely good for our for and against."
Meanwhile Bennett said the Sea Eagles could definitely trouble some big teams come September.
"They've always had the quality players… we all realise how well they can play," he said.
Toovey praises his players' work ethic
Always quick to deflect praise, Geoff Toovey was big on throwing the accolades back on his players after his side's big win on Saturday night.
The coach, who has set an example of dignity with his actions in trying conditions this week, focused on the attitudes of his men.
"We had a fairly good game plan and the players executed it perfectly," Toovey said.
"Our defence right across the board was really fantastic, they work very hard for each other.
"Again I thought the Broncos were a bit flat but not taking anything away from our players, I thought they worked very hard for each other."
Bennett has his say on Toovey sacking
One of the most respected figures and thinkers in the game, Wayne Bennett had some interesting points to share on Toovey's sacking at Manly.
"On his results I am [surprised] yeah," Bennett said about his dismissal.
"It is certainly getting more like English soccer where managers get replaced pretty often."
Bennett was also asked if he could see Toovey coaching any other team.
"Probably not, I think he has a great attachment to Manly and that will be the difficult part.
"He also made the point that he needs a bit of time away from the game and that will probably help him out."
With victory on the Central Coast on Saturday night Toovey became just the sixth person to coach Manly in 100 or more games.
The man himself revealed where his concentration has been this week:
"I've been focused, like the players, on winning this match," Toovey said.