A game that will go down in history as one of the best matches played in recent years has seen Manly head to AAMI Park and take an 11-10 victory in a golden point epic at AAMI Park.
The first half was a tense affair for the most part with the Storm asking plenty of questions on the Manly defence in the early stages, but the Sea Eagles defence stayed strong and eventually it was the men from Manly who opened the scoring. They registered first points through the boot of Reuben Garrick with a penalty goal from right in front of the uprights.
The Bunker then knocked back a try for Manly when it was ruled that Daly Cherry-Evans had caught the ball inside the lead runner - and although there didn't look to be anyone obstructed, the Bunker took a black and white interpretation of the rule and denied Curtis Sironen four points. The Sea Eagles extended their lead with three minutes before half-time when Garrick added his second penalty goal.
The only try of the first half was one that could be called a piece of accidental brilliance from Manly, as Daly Cherry-Evans put up a miss-kicked bomb that turned out perfect, Brad Parker flashed through to take a good catch before some inside passing found Joel Thompson who scored. The subsequent goal from Garrick after the half-time siren gave Manly a 10-0 lead at the break.
The second half was more of the same with both sides going hard at each other in defence, struggling to find any openings until Jahrome Hughes sliced through and put Ryan Papenhuyzen into space, which looked likely until Tom Trbojevic pulled off a try-saver. Melbourne only needed the next play to score when Will Chambers got out of dummy half and kicked for himself, reaching the ball just inside the dead-ball line to ground it and score. Cameron Smith couldn't convert and left the scores at 10-4.
The Storm took advantage of gifted possession from Manly when Brandon Smith got quickly out of dummy half and used his small stature to get underneath Tom Trbojevic and score next to the left-hand upright. Smith converted the try and the scores were level with 12 minutes to play.
Both sides had their own late chances but it was off to golden point to decide the winner. The two sides rarely play a boring contest and Golden Point was far from boring with each having countless opportunities to win.
Melbourne and Manly tried to create opportunities through the hands but the most telling moments were a field goal shot from Cam Munster, who looked to have nailed his field goal attempt only for it to bounce off the uprights, then up the other end Dylan Walker had his long-range attempt on target only for it too to hit the post.
Neither side could force the match-winner in the first half of golden point and so an extra five minutes would decide the outcome. The second half of golden point was an epic with both sides getting field goal opportunities however the biggest moment of the half came inside the final 90 seconds. The Storm looked to spin the ball wide through Justin Olam however referee Grant Atkins pulled play back for a forward pass and Manly had a scrum 25m out from the Melbourne line. At the end it was Daly Cherry-Evans who hit the field goal a few tackles later, and it was pinpoint straight to give Manly the 11-10 victory.
Next weekend, the Storm head to Brisbane to take on the Broncos on Friday night, meanwhile the Sea Eagles have a trip to Newcastle to take on the Knights on Saturday afternoon.