Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
41 hours ago
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have beaten the North Queensland Cowboys in highly controversial circumstances at Allianz Stadium in front of 16,678. The Sea Eagles now advance to the first preliminary final at AAMI Park next Friday where they face the Melbourne Storm.
Things started quickly for the reigning premiers as they posted first points inside the first five minutes. Michael Oldfield went over off a short pass from Glenn Stewart. "Oldie" burst through the line to dive over in the corner, while Jamie Lyon pushed the conversion wide. As a result the score remained 4-nil to Manly.
A tactical play from co-captain Jamie Lyon saw the lead pushed to 6-0 after 18 minutes as he slotted the penalty goal.
Flying fullback Brett Stewart bolted onto a beautifully weighted pass from young winger Jorge Taufua. It was all Manly as they were running ragged over the travelling Cowboys. Lyon nailed the conversion to extend the lead to 12-0.
The Cowboys looked lost in attack for most of the first half, however they managed to get points on the board after 30 minutes through big running James Tamou. The prop-forward displayed his fancy footwork to dance over the whitewash, while Thurston swung the conversion between the posts to close the gap to six.
Manly had the final say of the first half with a penalty awarded on the half time siren, but Daly Cherry-Evans' field goal attemptfrom 30 metres out was unsuccessful. At the break Manly remained ahead 12 points to 6.
Manly Sea Eagles 22 defeated North Queensland Cowboys 12
National Rugby League - Finals Week 2 - Friday September 14, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: Allianz Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Steve Clark and Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Jeff Younis
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 12 North Queensland Cowboys 6
MANLY SEA EAGLES (22)
Tries: Brett Stewart, Michael Oldfield (2), Jorge Taufua
Field Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (0/1)
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (2/4)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
NORTH QUEENSLAND COWBOYS (12)
Tries: Antonio Winterstein, James Tamou
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Despite reports throughout the week he might miss this clash, Manly captain Jamie Lyon will play tonight - his side is as per program. For the Cowboys, it's been widely reported and confirmed that Aaron Payne will miss tonight's clash. James Segeyaro slots in at hooker, with Anthony Mitchell the new man on the bench. The North Queensland side are 1-13.
Earlier in Toyota Cup, the eighth placed St George Illawarra Dragons smashed the minor premiers Canterbury-Bankstown 46-20. The Dragons will face the Raiders next week for a spot in the Grand Final.
Both sides have finished their pre-match warm ups, we will have kick off in a minutes.
The Cowboys are out on the park, just awaiting Manly and we will be UNDERWAY
1 min: We are UNDERWAY at Allianz Stadium in this first semi-final as the Cowboys kick off
1 min: UNFORCED ERROR Manly Sea Eagles
Anthony Watmough attempting to make a quick run for his players as dropped it looking for a quick play of the ball.
2 min: The Cowboys attacking looking promising as Thurston showed off his double pump pass. But on the second play after the change over Manly earn a penalty. Glen Hall penalised for holding down in the ruck. Manly find touch on halfway
5 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Michael Oldfield. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Michael Oldfield has posted first points thanks to a short pass offload from Glen Stewart. The Sea Eagles crafted the play thanks to a kick cross field from Daly Cherry-Evans. Jamie Lyon with the conversion attempt from the sideline pushes it wide of the sticks.
Manly Sea Eagles 4-0
8 min: UNFORCED ERROR North Queensland Cowboys
Matt Bowen unable to take the Cherry-Evans kick cleanly and he knocked it on as he came to ground. Glenn Stewart attempting to clean up the Bowen mistake also knocks on. So, Manly pack down and win the scrum on the Cowboys' 10 metre line.
9 min: UNFORCED ERROR Manly Sea Eagles
Jason King running on the inside of Cherry-Evans looking like a decoy runner but he dropped it before taking the ball. Cowboys come away with possession on their 10 metre line on the zero tackle.
10 min: PENALTY! Anthony Watmough has been penalised for having a second dig in the tackle. The Cowboys find touch and start their set on the Sea Eagles' 20 metre line.
11 min: Thurston fires a bullet pass out wide to Ashley Graham but he is bundled over the touchline with a big tackle from Jorge Taufua. Scrum feed packs for Manly on their 10 metre line.
12 min: Dean Whare with a massive run downfield out paced the Cowboys defence with a 60 metre run, but he was collected by Matt Bowen as he offloaded the ball. Cherry-Evans unable to take the offload and the Cowboys have it.
13 min: The Cowboys give up possession and the Sea Eagles attack from a scrum feed on the Cowboys 40 metre line.
14 min: Matt Ballin attempted a short kick for the in goal area but taken easily by Matt Bowen who took the ball to save points. They start their set on the 10 metre line.
15 min: PENALTY! James Tamou penalised for not clearing the ruck fast enough for the referees liking. Manly with an easily march up field as they attack the Cowboys line 30 metres out.
16 min: Michael Oldfield with a grubber kick to the corner as forced Matt Bowen to pass in goal to Gavin Cooper. Manly with a big play on the 1st tackle force a line drop out.
17 min: PENALTY! Cowboys penalised for hands in the ruck, but in the same set, Cherry-Evans was collected with a nice shot from Gavin Cooper. Looking at a shoulder injury but does remain on the field.
18 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea Eagles
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Lyon successful as Manly extend their lead beyond a converted try.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
20 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Brett Stewart. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Brett Stewart as busted through the poor Cowboys defences after taking a beautiful pass from Jorge Taufau who did some juggling to originally take the ball. Manly are running over the Cowboys here. Jamie Lyon with the conversion from in front make it a 12 point lead.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-0
24 min: A mistake from the Cowboys on the last tackle gives possession to Manly on their 10 metre line.
26 min: UNFORCED ERROR Manly Sea Eagles
Brett Stewart unable to take the kick as he knocked on. Cowboys attacking from a scrum 10 metres out from the Manly line
27 min: Michael Morgan puts a kick in for a goal line drop out as Manly force it in goal. Cowboys looking a little confused as they are just hoping something happens.
29 min: PENALTY! Anthony Watmough again gives away another penalty for laying in the ruck. Manly's defence will be testing once again as the Cowboys attack 10 metres from the goal line.
29 min: VIDEO REFEREE for the Cowboys, James Tamou the scorer. We are looking at a possible obstruction
30 min: TRY
TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Scored by James Tamou. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
James Tamou is awarded his try after going through a gap to reach out and plants the Steeden over the line. The Cowboys prop stepping and powering over the line for first points. Thurston with a swinging kick at goal adds the extras
Manly Sea Eagles 12-6
35 min: Jamie Lyon cleans up the kick from Thurston and grounds it in goal before Matt Bowen dived on the footy. Line drop out for the Cowboys with a chance before half time to post points
37 min: Matt Bowen with a wobbly kick across the field finds the hands of Ashley Graham but he was out leapt by Jorge Taufua. Manly concede another line drop out.
39 min: Matt Bowen attempted a short grubber kick for himself but it was dived on by Matt Ballin for Manly. The Sea Eagles play it out of their own red zone.
40 min: WAIT FIGHT TIME!. The slaps are out…there will be PENALTY to Manly. The siren did sound, but the touch finder sees Manly get one play on the 30 metre line.
40 min: FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT
ATTEMPTED FIELD GOAL Manly Sea Eagles
Field goal attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans is unsuccessful as he rocketed it from the 30 metre line.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-6
40 min: HALF TIME now at ALLIANZ STADIUM sees the Manly hold a six point lead over the Cowboys, 12-6.
Both sides exiting the tunnel for the final 40 minutes of one of theses sides season.
41 min: Daly Cherry-Evans fires the kick downfield and we are UNDERWAY in the second half.
42 min: Brett Stewart caught the ball easily in goal to earn his side a optional 20 metre restart.
43 min: UNFORCED ERROR Manly Sea Eagles
Jorge Taufua has helped the ball out of the ruck with a hand from Ashley Graham. A luckily call for the Cowboys as they pack down a scrum feed on the Manly 40 metre line.
45 min: TRY
TRY North Queensland Cowboys
Scored by Antonio Winterstein. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Antonio Winterstein has taken a beautiful floating pass from Thurston to raced down the touchline to score. A great run from the Cowboys to capitalised on the lucky call. Thurston with the conversion attempt was pin-point as he locks the game up.
50 min: PENALTY MANLY! Tony Williams earns his side a penalty for Gavin Cooper not getting off the ruck fast enough. Big touch finder from Cherry-Evans sees Manly attack 30 metres from the Cowboys line.
52 min: VIDEO REFEREE for Manly…what a pass from Tony WILLIAMS! Jorge Taufua is claiming points
52 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Jorge Taufua. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Jorge Taufua has been awarded his try BENEFIT of the DOUBT as he reached out for the line and then had Ashley Graham help him over the goal line. Jamie Lyon with the conversion attempt from the sideline pushes the kick wide
Manly Sea Eagles 16-12
55 min: The crowd has been posted tonight at Allianz Stadium. 16,678 is the official attendance.
57 min: PENALTY COWBOYS! Thurston has been cleaned up without the ball after he kicked the ball. A quick tap taken 10 metres out.
57 min: A shocker of a pass from Thurston sees the ball fly over the touchline. Nothing was happening for the Cowboys and to the delight of the Manly fans who have travelled tonight their side packs down a scrum feed.
61 min: VIDEO REFEREE for Manly, looking a possible try for Michael Oldfield.
62 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Michael Oldfield. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Michael Oldfield is awarded his try after the video referee somehow ruled that Kieran Foran did not knock on. After the play Michael Oldfield dived on the loose ball and scored. A blunder of a decision will seemingly rob the Cowboys a win here.
Manly Sea Eagles 22-12
66 min: UNFORCED ERROR Manly Sea Eagles
Glenn Stewart makes an unforced error as he took the tackle. Thurston is targeted again by Manly once again as they pack down a scrum feed.
69 min: A mistake from the Cowboys sees Manly earn a 20 metre restart. Brett Tate went oh so close to the line to score but was short.
74 min: A mistake from the Cowboy sees Manly pack a scrum on halfway. Niel Henry on the sideline is all by in tears.
76 min: The kick from the Cowboys rolls dead and Manly will get the 20 metre optional restart.
78 min: VIDEO REFEREE for Manly, Anthony Watmough scores…
79 min: Anthony Watmough is penalised for taking out Brent Tate without the ball. Penalty to the Cowboys, but Thurston is unable to find touch. Manly will close out this game with the ball
79 min: Forward pass ruled from the Cowboys out of acting half. Manly will win here
80 min: FULL TIME at Allianz Stadium: Manly 22 def. Cowboys 12 in front of 16,678