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Broncos shine as Manly stumble
Fulltime score: Round 8 Brisbane Broncos 38 v Manly Sea Eagles 12
Match summary: The Brisbane Broncos have reinforced their Premiership claims with a dominant 38-12 victory over a shaky Manly Sea Eagles team at Suncorp Stadium to kick off Round 8 of the NRL.
The Broncos enjoyed enormous advantages in territory and possession in the first half as they raced out to a 30-0 lead at the break, with their forwards laying a magnificent platform up front and their back-line capitalising on the opportunities presented.
Manly never gave up and won the second half 12-8, with their best player Anthony Watmough showing great pace in a 38 metre dash to the line and stepping past Broncos fullback Karmichael Hunt in the process.
The stars for the Broncos were their powerful forward pack (led by David Stagg and Shane Webcke) and centre Shaun Berrigan, who nabbed a hat-trick and managed to keep Terry Hill relatively quiet for the night.
0 min: Broncos kick off and we're underway!
3 min: NEWS - David Stagg (Broncos) held up over the line on the last tackle as Manly's defence holds solid.
5 min: TRY - Broncos Darren Smith crosses for the second consecutive week after a great pass from Casey McGuire. Lockyer's conversion is successful. Broncos 6 Manly 0
9 min: NEWS - Broncos are dominating possession and making great metres. Jason King (Manly) has left the field with an arm injury.
15 min: NEWS - Manly have not yet been tackled inside the Broncos half. Brisbane have played the last couple of minutes with only 12 men as Shaun Berrigan has been in the blood-bin.
17 min: TRY - Broncos Shaun Berrigan touches down. The heavy defensive workload for Manly is starting to take its toll. Lockyer's kick is waved away. Broncos 10 Manly 0
22 min: NEWS - Manly finally get into Broncos territory and are awarded a penalty 10 metres out. Quick tap taken, but Broncos defence holds.
27 min: TRY - Broncos Shaun Berrigan grabs his second after a repeat set on the Manly line. Lockyer adds the two points. Broncos 16 Manly 0
31 min: NEWS - Broncos are completely dominating possession as unforced errors from Manly add to the pressure.
32 min: TRY - Broncos Justin Hodges scores from a Broncos scrum 10 metres from the line. Lockyer misses with the conversion. Broncos 20 Manly 0
35 min: Video Ref checking a possible Broncos try ...
35 min: TRY - Broncos Neville Costigan bags a try after Brett Stewart drops a Darren Lockyer bomb. Lockyer's conversion successful. Broncos 26 Manly 0
38 min: TRY - Broncos Manly just can't take a trick at the moment, with all the ball going to the Broncos. Karmichael Hunt stretches out to score as the Broncos attack rolls on. Lockyer misses with the kick. Broncos 30 Manly 0
HALFTIME: Broncos 30 Manly 0 Possession and territory are both running around 70/30 in the Broncos favour so far. The Brisbane forwards are putting in a very dominant performance, laying a great platform for the Broncos backs to work their magic. Manly are being steamrolled in the forwards, and unforced errors are adding to their woes. There have been brief glimpses of attacking spark when they spread the ball wide, but opportunities have been few and far between. Completion: Broncos 19/23, Manly 8/13 Errors: Broncos 6, Manly 12 Missed tackles: Broncos 5, Manly 20
Second half is underway!
48 min: TRY - Broncos Shaun Berrigan nabs his third as the Broncos pick up where they left off in the first 40. Lockyer's kick hits the posts but is waved away. Broncos 34 Manly 0
54 min: TRY - Broncos Scott Minto joins the try-fest. Justin Hodges delivers a great final pass for the try. Lockyer misses the conversion attempt. Broncos 38 Manly 0
59 min: NEWS - Manly make a rare trip into Broncos territory and nearly come away with a try, but Brent Kite can't quite latch onto a Monaghan grubber kick.
61 min: TRY - Manly Anthony Watmough makes a great break and runs 38 metres to score. Michael Witt adds the extras. Broncos 38 Manly 6
64 min: NEWS - Berrick Barnes runs on in his debut for the Broncos, as Wayne Bennett gives Darren Lockyer an early finish.
67 min: NEWS - The game has evened up over the last 10 minutes as the Broncos have taken their foot off the pedal while Manly look to restore some respectability to the scoreline.
73 min: NEWS - Manly are enjoying a steady flow of possession in Broncos territory, but the Broncos defence is equal to the task.
77 min: TRY - Manly Luke Williamson barrels through three Broncos defenders to score. Michael Witt converts the try. Broncos 38 Manly 12
FULL TIME: Broncos 38 Manly 12 The Broncos have put in a dominant performance tonight, while Manly will be hoping this is only a slight hiccup in a season that has shown great promise.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - David Stagg (Broncos) 2 - Shaun Berrigan (Broncos) 1 - Shane Webcke (Broncos) -----------------------------------------