Manly have started their season off with a victory, defeating the Brisbane Broncos 22-14 in front of 31,139 at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
Being the first game of the new season, both sides felt each other out in the opening ten minutes, before Brisbane (after being denied a try) went for a penalty goal from the resulting no try. Prince stepped up and gave Brisbane their first two points of 2013.
Following three consecutive penalties, Brisbane added to their lead when Justin Hodges found space, took on his man before flicking it to a running Matt Gillett who got the easy four pointer. Prince made it 8-0 with his conversion.
It took some Jamie Lyon skill to ignite the Manly side after a kick earnt them a repeat set. From the set, they put it through the hands to send Steve Matai over in the corner. Lyon had no problem with the conversion and it was 8-6 after 25 minutes.
Brisbane would create more distance eight minutes before the break with almost the whole side getting a touch, spanning the full length of the field and finished by Justin Hodges who sent Lachlan Maranta in for the try. Scott Prince made it eight the difference again with his third and final conversion of the half.
In the second, Manly came out much more disciplined and forced veteran half Scott Prince into a forward pass after a tight tussle. Cherry-Evans capitalised on the error and turned backrower, carrying defenders over for the try with Lyon converting to make it 14-12 with thirty minutes to play.
They doubled the trouble for the Broncos two minutes later when Steve Matai grabbed his second, running into a large gap after a decoy play and steamrolling Scott Prince for the try plus the lead. Brisbane needed to rally their troops after surrendering the lead for the first time.
Manly though continued to pile on the misery on the home side with another try following a Cherry-Evans hit on Broncos centre, Jack Reed. The Sea Eagles swooped like a mother bird on a worm putting it through the hands to send David Williams in and an eight point lead.
After their glut of points, Manly turned to their defence to hold off a stuttering Broncos side who were unable to break through. The Sea Eagles worked their way to a 22-14 victory and a winning start to 2013.
Next week sees the Broncos travel down to Wollongong to face St George Illawarra on Friday night while the Sea Eagles host an impressive Newcastle side who disposed of the Tigers at Brookvale on Sunday night.