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A dominant second half has seen the Brisbane Broncos prove too strong for a gallant Manly Sea Eagles side, running out 26-10 winners in front of 41,388 supporters in the third match of the inaugural NRL Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium.
Growing in confidence throughout the match, while benefitting from a Sea Eagles outfit burdened by a mounting injury toll, the win looks set to temporarily relieve pressure on Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold following a difficult start to life at Red Hill.
Coming into the match off the back of five wins from their past six matches, the Sea Eagles started strongly to open the scoring after nine minutes courtesy of Apisai Koroisau exposing the Broncos poor goal line defence.
Called into the squad as a replacement for Jorge Taufua, Lebanese international Abbas Miski looked to extend Manly's lead twice in the opening half, only for an obstruction call and a forward pass to deny the rookie Sea Eagles winger.
Working their way into the match after reducing the amount of penalties conceded, the Broncos were rewarded five minutes before halftime with Anthony Milford capitalising upon a strong run from Kotoni Staggs to draw the scores level at 6-all heading into the change of ends.
Staring down the prospect of their worst start to a season since 1999, the Broncos started the second half in fine form with Corey Oates crossing for his ninth try of the season to put the ‘visitors' up 10-6.
Dominating possession over the next ten minutes via a 40/20 and multiple repeat sets courtesy of Milford's first class kicking game, Matt Gillett positioned himself in the right place to extend the margin out to 16-6 with 25 minutes left on the clock.
Following a lengthy stoppage in play to stretcher Toafofoa Sipley off the field with a lower leg injury, the Broncos sealed the result in the 63rd minute with Darius Boyd scoring his first try of 2019 to take the score out to 22-6.
Posting a late consolation effort through Jack Gosweiski, filling in at centre with Moses Suli off the field with a suspected fractured finger, the Broncos capped off the result with a late four-pointer from David Fifita to run out 26-10 winners.
Already without Daly Cherry-Evans, Tom Trbojevic and Addin Fonua Blake, the loss of three more players looks set to test Des Hasler's depth in the coming weeks, while Brisbane centre Jack Bird will need to be monitored after failing to see out the match with a leg issue.
Next week, the Sea Eagles face the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday afternoon, while the Broncos host the Roosters at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10 - Brisbane Broncos 26
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6 Brisbane Broncos 6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Anthony Milford
2 points - Joe Ofahengaue
1 points - Jack Gosiewski
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (10)
Tries: Apisai Koroisau, Jack Gosiewski
Conversions: Reuben Garrick (1/2)
BRISBANE BRONCOS (26)
Tries: Anthony Milford, Corey Oates, Matt Gillett, Darius Boyd, David Fifita
Conversions: Kotoni Staggs (3/5)