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Manly have survived a second half onslaught from North Queensland to hold on 24-20 in a thriller.
The game started off magnificently for debutant Dean Whare in the sixth minute, scoring his first try after a nice pass but it didn;t end there, Whare continued on pouncing on two bat backs to complete his hat trick within 26 minutes the third conversion gave Jamie Lyons his 100th point for the year.
Whare turned assistant for the fourth delivering the final ball for Michael Robertson to touchdown. Ashley Graham scored the Cowboys only points with a nice backline movement and Thurston snuck on just inside the posts making it 24-6 at Halftime.
An early injury to Jamie Lyon in the second half gave the Cowboys a sniff of a comeback and this increased when Will Tupou continued the trend for tryscorers on debut in the 55th minute. Cowboys reduced the defiect to ten when Ashley Graham got his second try off a Leeson Ah Mau offload.
North Queensland proceeded to bomb several tries which would have given them the game but Luke O'Donnell finally got them over the stripe when he ran a good line off Johnathan Thurston. The momentum was all with the Cowboys when they were four behind.
Manly would hold on though after Cowboys had two chances in the last five minutes, one ruled to be a no try and the second with one minute to go was ruled forward. Johnathan Thurston then blew up but in the wash two missed conversions and several bombed tries was the difference.
North Queensland Cowboys 20 were defeated by Manly Sea Eagles 24
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 12 - Saturday May 29, 2010 7:30pm
Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Referee: Jason Robinson and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Daniel Eastwood and Adam Gee
Halftime: North Queensland Cowboys 6 Manly Sea Eagles 24
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (20)
Tries: Luke O'Donnell, Ashley Graham (2), Will Tupou
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/4)
MANLY SEA EAGLES (24)
Tries: Michael Robertson, Dean Whare (3)
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (4/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a warm Dairy Farmers Stadium for an exciting clash between North Queensland and Manly. In the u20's Manly have stunned the ladder leading Cowboys 30-16
Several changes for both teams; North Queensland have William Tupou coming onto the wing for Bani, Webb will start in place of Mason. Kieran Foran and Josh Perry are out for Manly, with Dean Whare making his debut and Brent Kite starting, George Rose comes onto the bench.
1 min: Johnathan Thurston kicks off his second game in a week.
4 min: Luke O Donnell forces a pass he shouldn't and gifts Manly possesion.
4 min: Compounded with a penalty for a hand in the play the ball.
6 min: TRY
Manly are first on the board! Dean Whare scores with his first touch in grade! Lyons makes no mistakes with the conversion.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
7 min: Brent Kite smartly puts his foot over the line as he was retrieving the ball and gets a penalty on halfway.
8 min: An attacking set by Manly is ruined by a forward pass
10 min: Cowboys try a short kick but it harmlessly goes over the sideline for Manly's benefit.
11 min: Another try to young Whare here possibly..
12 min: TRY
Whare has his second after a bat back, he powers his way over! Lyons makes no mistake with this one either.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-0
13 min: North Queensland get their first penalty but can't finish their sets properly.
16 min: Cowboys just forcing one pass too many and knock it on.
18 min: Manly now force one and Cowboys pounce!
18 min: Johnathan Thurston throws it to the kid in row G, how kind! Tupou was too deep there.
22 min: North Queensland persist with running the ball on the last and it fails again. Changeover again.
24 min: Bad error here puts North Queensland back on their own line trying to prevent a third try.
26 min: TRY
Dean Whare has a hat trick! Robertson bats back another for Whare who obliges and scores! Lyon continues his perfect night and notches up his 100th point of the season.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-0
28 min: Nice hit by the rookie Morgan to dislodge the ball from Anthony Watmough.
30 min: TRY Northern Storm
Running on the last finally reaps some award with Ashley Graham scoring their first! Thurston with his 25th consectutive conversion for the Cowboys just sneaks in the posts.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-6
32 min: Shane Rodney tries to get up too quick and drops the ball. Great chance here for the Cowboys to make the defiect six.
34 min: The kick was too deep and John Williams couldn't get a grab on it.
36 min: Ben Farrar takes a nice bomb under a lot of pressure from Thurston.
37 min: Manly get a piggyback after Mason hits Hodkinson high.
39 min: TRY
Dean Whare turns try assistant after a suspect short ball from Watmough bumped off one and drew in the fullback, passing to Robertson to score. Jamie Lyon adds the extras.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-6
40 min: Anthony Watts tries someone on the bell but it is for naught. What a dominant half for the debutant Dean Whare scoring 3 and setting up another. 24-6 Manly.
41 min: Tony Williams gets the second half underway..
43 min: Six more for Manly after a charge down!
46 min: Thurston tries a short ball inside but it hits the deck.
48 min: Trent Hodkinson has his mind in two places and drops the ball on the last.
49 min: A horrible set there by the Cowboys who also went to the wrong side. Meanwhile Jamie Lyon will be interchanged shortly.
50 min: Manly make a triple change with Lyons going off but they recieve the penalty.
51 min: Anthony Watmough tries to spin but knocks it on.
52 min: Second penalty of the match for the Cowboys off a strip.
53 min: Repeat set for the Cowboys with Farrar knocking on.
55 min: TRY
Johnathan Thurston packs in at lock and does a wraparound with Bowen who gives it to Tonga who offloads to Tupou to score! Thurston misses his first for ages.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-10
56 min: A great flick pass from Bowen is ruled forward!
58 min: Eagles looking dusty here another knock on in Cowboys territory.
62 min: Possibly Ashley Graham's second try here..
63 min: TRY Northern Storm
Some nice second phase play from the Cowboys leads Leeson Ah Mau downfield and gets it to Graham who scores. Thurston misses another!
Manly Sea Eagles 24-14
64 min: Cowboys bomb a certain try off a chip kick from Thurston who gives it to Morgan who kicks it needlessly.
65 min: A bad error in their own half for the Eagles, gives Cowboys prime position.
66 min: Cowboys bomb a second with John Williams dropping one around his feet.
68 min: Cowboys bomb a third try with Tonga throwing it forward to Thurston.
70 min: Ben Farrar couldn't hold onto a bomb but Bowen knocks on and it's ruled a scrum, feed to North Queensland.
71 min: TRY
They finally get on another try! Luke O'Donnell runs a good line and slams it down!
Manly Sea Eagles 24-20
73 min: Watts tries an inside ball off the fast play the ball but Payne drops it.
75 min: Manly get a contentious call here saying Bowen touched the ball. Scrum to Manly.
75 min: Possible try to level the game here.
76 min: NO TRY! Manly survive barely..
80 min: A forward pass here cruels the Cowboys chances!
80 min: Penalty to the Cowboys here with not long to go.
80 min: Manly hold on here for a great victory! 24-20.