Broncos fight back to beat Manly
It was a game of two halves at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, with the Brisbane Broncos coming from 14-0 down at half-time to beat the Manly Sea Eagles 24-14 in front of 44,127 fans.
Nothing went right for Manly in the second half, with New South Wales Blues hopeful Tom Trbojevic suffering a leg and ankle injury late in the match.
Things went better for the Broncos and winger Corey Oates starred for them in the second 40, scoring two tries and running for a total of 176 metres to help Brisbane score 24 unanswered points.
It was a missed opportunity for Manly who are now at risk of dropping out of the top eight if results go against them on Sunday.
The Broncos are now entrenched in the NRL's top four after winning five games in a row – a huge effort considering their 2-3 record after Round 5.
Down 14-0 at half-time, the Broncos had to be the first to score in the second half and they did just that.
Halfback Kodi Nikorima found Korbin Sims with a no-look short ball and the prop burst through Manly's line before offloading to Anthony Milford who crossed under the posts. Jordan Kahu slotted the conversion to cut the margin to eight.
Tautau Moga missed Brisbane's next chance, knocking on over the try line in the 60th minute, but the Broncos took their next opportunity when Andrew McCullough put up a towering bomb that Trbojevic fielded on the bounce. Winger David Mead came through at speed and put a big hit on Trbojevic and the fullback spilled the ball, landing awkwardly in the process. Brisbane scooped up the loose ball and Oates scored in the corner as Trbojevic left the field clutching at his left leg.
An excellent kick from the sideline by Kahu cut the scoreline to 14-12 with 15 minutes to play.
The Broncos suddenly had all the momentum and made the most of it in the 66th minute with Kodi Nikorima pouncing on a Jorge Taufua knock-on to score under the posts. Kahu's conversion made it 18-14 to Brisbane, leaving the Sea Eagles shell-shocked.
The Broncos sealed the match in the 75th minute when Oates finished off a beautiful shift to the left. The Queensland winger notched his second of the night to put the game away, and when Kahu converted from the sideline the scoreline had quickly blown out to 24-14.
It was a great recovery from the Broncos, who started the match disastrously, with Moga knocking on in the first minute. Seconds later Manly fullback Trbojevic beat Kahu to score down the left. Dylan Walker missed the conversion but the Sea Eagles still led 4-0 after as many minutes.
Manly scored again in the seventh minute, with Api Koroisau barging his way over from dummy half. High on confidence, Koroisau slotted the conversion from near the left touchline to give the Sea Eagles a 10-0 lead.
Manly continued their dominance in the ninth minute when Trbojevic broke through Brisbane's line, finding Taufua with a suspect pass to send the winger over untouched. Koroisau failed to add the extras but Manly were in complete control leading 14-0 after 10 minutes.
The next 30 minutes were an arm-wrestle, with the 14-0 scoreline seeing both teams in half-time.
Brisbane Broncos 24 (Oates 2, Nikorima, Milford tries; Kahu 4 goals) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14 (Trbojevic, Taufua, Koroisau tries; Koroisau goal). Crowd: 44,127.