It was a loss that the Brisbane Broncos could ill-afford, but it is a sign that the Manly Sea Eagles mean business – after the Sea Eagles won a tight contest 16-6, at Brookvale Oval.
In the first half, despite only scoring 16 points, it was all Manly, despite some spirited Broncos defence – though that very nearly changed in the first half, with some sloppy Manly play almost letting Brisbane back into the game, though the Broncos could not capitalise.
It means that it is a sixth straight loss for the Broncos, and should the Tigers defeat the Roosters, the Broncos will find themselves outside the top eight, heading into the final round.
Although he was happy with the way his side was performing, Manly captain Jamie Lyon refuses to talk about premierships.
“It doesn’t really matter what you do now, it’s what you do in the semis – hopefully we can play some good footy in the semis,” Lyon said.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey felt the same way, despite Manly wrapping up a top 4 spot.
“As has been shown in the past, it doesn’t matter if you’re first or you finished eighth, if you’re playing some good football in those semi-finals … you’re a really good chance of taking it out,” Toovey said.
Although pleased that his side managed to stick out with Manly, Broncos coach Anthony Griffin knows that it was the same old story again.
“We’re a chance (in the finals) but the problem is they tell me it’s out of our hands a bit now, but all we can do is beat Penrith next Friday night,” Griffin said.
“If we can get in there, as strange as it seems the last three weeks we’ve been in pretty good form and if we can sneak in there we’ll be a chance.”