Manly run over lowly Cowboys

Manly produced an impressive second half display to win 34-14 and record back to back victories in front of 9,029 fans at 1300 Smiles Stadium tonight.

In a truncated round of football, it was important for North Queensland to keep in touch with the chase for the top eight. Manly were looking for back to back victories for the first time since Round 13 and a spot in the top four.

Coming off a huge win against cellar dwellers Parramatta, Manly brought that attacking mindset to the contest tonight. In the 13th minute, David Williams and Jorge Taufua combined to send Matt Ballin in for the opening try.

North Queensland responded through returning fullback Matthew Bowen who sold the dummy and sliced through to bring the Cowboys level. Ethan Lowe added a penalty goal in the 24th minute to make it 8-6 to the home side.

Missing halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, Jamie Lyon stepped up to play-making duties but was the recipient of a magical pass from Ritchie Fa'aoso to hand the Sea Eagles the lead into halftime.

Cowboys continued the tit-for-tat nature of the contest right after the resumption. Michael Morgan going himself with a grubber and pouncing on the Brett Stewart error to plant it down.

14-12 would be the closest the Cowboys would get to the Sea Eagles as they went on a flurry of try-scoring starting with both wingers getting on the scoresheet. David Williams in the 47th minute from the right then Jorge Taufua in 55th minute on the right.

Manly added two further tries in Justin Horo who ran a simple line to steamroll past Bowen and Steve Matai who showed guile to evade defenders for his try. After a promising opening 45 minutes from the Cowboys, Manly showed their top four credentials in the 34-14 victory.

Match Details
North Queensland Cowboys 14 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 34
Venue: Willows Sports Complex
Crowd: 9029
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12-8 Players of the Match:
3 points - Kieran Foran
2 points - Brett Stewart
1 point - Jamie Lyon

Tries: Matthew Bowen, Michael Morgan
Field Goals:
Conversions: Ethan Lowe (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Ethan Lowe (1/1)

Tries: Matt Ballin, Jamie Lyon, David Williams, Jorge Taufua, Justin Horo, Steve Matai
Field Goals:
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (5/6)
Penalty Goals: Live Commentary

19. Matt Bowen 2. Ashley Graham 3. Antonio Winterstein 4. Kane Linnett 5. Kalifa Faifai Loa 18. Michael Morgan 7. Robert Lui 8. Ricky Thorby 9. Anthony Mitchell 10. Glenn Hall 11. Ethan Lowe 12. Jason Taumalolo 13. Joel Riethmuller
Interchange: 6. Ray Thompson 15. Gavin Cooper 16. Tariq Sims 17. Scott Bolton

1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Peta Hiku 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 16. James Hassan 12. Justin Horo 13. Glenn Stewart
Interchange: 14. Richie Fa'aoso 19. Nick Skinner 11. Jamie Buhrer 17. Ligi Sao
Welcome tonight to 1300 Smiles Stadium for the final match in a truncated round 17 in the NRL. We have the North Queensland Cowboys who will be looking to get over the loss to Canberra last week and move themselves up the ladder. Manly after a lean month, demolished Parramatta and will look to continue this against the inconsistent Cowboys.

NQL: The big change for the home side is Matthew Bowen's return! The fullback will be in the #19 jersey replacing Clint Greenshields. There is a change in the halves too with Michael Morgan starting in place of Ray Thompson who is shunted to the bench with Rory Kostjasyn.

MAN: The changes for Manly come in the forward pack with James Hasson starting in place of Jamie Buhrer and George Rose ruled out with an ankle injury replaced by Nick Skinner on the bench.
In the Holden Cup game played between the two sides on Saturday produced a win for the Cowboys prevailing 30 points to 20.
Manly run onto a sparsely populated 1300 Smiles Stadium in their white away strip and head to their positions to receive the kick-off. North Queensland follow in their home strip and get ready to get underway!
Michael Morgan puts boot to ball and here we go!
2 min: A great take from Brett Stewart is followed up by a nice charge from Taufua who is hit high, PENALTY.
3 min: Just as Manly get piggybacked out they are roped back in. Justin Horo charges forward and loses it.
Scored by Matt Ballin. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Some excellent attacking football from the kick return from the Sea Eagles. Williams finds some space in the line, accelerates and offloads to Taufua who gets it to Foran then Ballin who just beats the cover defenders to cross the stripe. Lyon with the academic conversion.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 6-0
12 min: Almost a coach killer, Justin Horo with a spill on first tackle but this time it's judged a strip, PENALTY.
13 min: Manly haven't kicked into gear yet, a lot of loose passes and an error by Glenn Stewart. Cowboys scrum 30 metres from their own line.
15 min: Good kick pressure from Linnett forcing Williams to spill it. A whole new set coming for the home side.
17 min: One on one strip from Anthony Mitchell and here come the Cowboys back on the attack.
Scored by Matthew Bowen. Conversion attempt by Ethan Lowe successful.
Welcome back Matthew Bowen! From the set start, he drifted across, dummied and went through the gap for the try. Ethan Lowe takes the duties of kicking and slots his first conversion in the NRL.
6 all
22 min: PENALTY Cowboys and the home ground agrees with the call for offside.
22 min: Ballin and Buhrer are pinged again for a PENALTY, hand on the ball. Robert Lui points to the sticks right away.
Penalty goal attempt by Ethan Lowe successful.
Lowe sporting the headband early slams through his second goal of the night.
North Queensland Cowboys 8-6
24 min: Dear, oh dear Manly kick it OUT ON THE FULL! Cowboys will be right on the attack again.
25 min: Or not.. the kick for line doesn't find touch, a cardinal sin in the NRL.
27 min: PENALTY Manly - Reithmuller caught offside.
Scored by Jamie Lyon. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
That came from nowhere somewhat, Richie Fa'aso poked his nose through and found Lyon who shrugged off the fullback and went in. Lyon pilots it through.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12-8
36 min: Great defense from the Sea Eagles on the final tackle! Cowboys managed to prise an opening with a kick finding Lowe who had the line in sight but was stopped by Brett Stewart!
39 min: PENALTY Cowboys and they will get a finally attacking set of the first half.
40 min: Cowboys make their first error in the half, right on the line. Manly hand it right back to them though!
40 min: HALFTIME :: Cowboys are right in this contest with a disjointed Manly side.
41 min: Both sides are back onto the park for the second stanza. Manly will kick-off and we're back on!
41 min: Steve Matai puts too much pepper on the ball and it goes out on the full!
VIDEO REFEREE: Michael Morgan might have a try, referee has given the signal for a TRY, just checking grounding.
Scored by Michael Morgan. Conversion attempt by Ethan Lowe successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! Michael Morgan stabbed one through and chased himself watching Stewart fumble allowing him to pounce for the TRY. Lowe keeps his perfect record in tact.
North Queensland Cowboys 14-12
44 min: Ray Thompson tries going for a dart but spills it under the pressure from a Manly defender.
VIDEO REFEREE: Upstairs we go again, referee indicates TRY again, checking grounding and the touch line.
Scored by David Williams. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Blink and you would have missed the Cowboys lead! Manly from the error spread it to the backline who go catch pass to send David Williams in. Jamie Lyon with his toughest test tonight hooks it away.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16-14
52 min: Cowboys knock it on trying to play it too quick. Manly seem to have settled into their rhythm now.
VIDEO REFEREE: Upstairs for the third time tonight, checking the blockers.
Scored by Jorge Taufua. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
GREEN LIGHTS.. TRY! It has clicked for Manly in this second half with Brett Stewart once again integral in the movement to send Taufua in for the try. Jamie Lyon from the other sideline this time, converts.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 22-14
58 min: PENALTY Cowboys, Buhrer penalised for being downtown.
59 min: The final pass was slightly behind Linnett who produces a juggling act but he's spills it.
60 min: Silly there by Winterstein, tried to have a second dip at Matai and was pinged. PENALTY.
61 min: Nicely stabbed through by Foran forcing Bowen to play at the ball. Dropout.
Scored by Justin Horo. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Too big, too strong Justin Horo. It was Kieran Foran taking on the line and finding Horo who steamrolled past Bowen for the match winner. Lyon with a simple conversion, simply adds two more.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28-14
66 min: Just too eager the Cowboys defensive line and pinged for the PENALTY.
Scored by Steve Matai. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
It is usually the brutality from Matai but this time it was the brilliance. Brett Stewart positioned him for the inside ball and a step took him away from Bowen and in for the TRY. Lyon adds another two more to the cause.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 34-14
77 min: Cowboys earn a rare dropout from the unlikely source of Glen Hall.
78 min: They spill it in attack. Manly will work it out away and towards two points.
79 min: A huge bomb from Foran and spilled by Ash Graham.
80 min: FULLTIME :: Manly with an impressive second half display to run out 34-14 victors.