In some impressive signs, the Brisbane Broncos seem to getting better and better, in what was their biggest ever win over the Manly Sea Eagles.
In front of a vocal home crowd at Suncorp, the Broncos ran riot and overpowered a spirited Manly side that could not match it with the Broncos class, winning the game 44-10.
With a bye scheduled for next week, the Broncos sit in first place on the ladder whilst Manly languish at the bottom.
The telling factor for the Manly loss was finishing with a completion rate of just 59 percent by the end of the game, committing 14 errors and missing 29 tackles.
Despite their big win, Broncos coach Wayne Bennett admits his side were gifted by some fortuitous tries.
“We had a lot of luck tonight,” Bennett said.
“There were a lot of close decisions out there which were fair tries but on another night the bounce of the ball might have not gone our way.
“There’s probably three or four tries tonight that were lucky. We were competing well but on another night things could have gone against us.”
The 28,000 plus strong crowd were quick to boo Queenslander Daly Cherry-Evans every time he touched the ball, after he reneged on a deal to join the Gold Coast Titans earlier in the week to stay with Manly.
The signs looked promising for Manly when they reduced the deficit to 20-10 but it was all over red rover from that point, as the Broncos ran away with it.
The loss was exacerbated by a hamstring injury to veteran centre Jamie Lyon and back-rower Justin Horo being put on report.
Manly coach Geoff Toovey knows that the rub of the green is not with his side at this time but with hard work, the team will get luck eventually.
“When you’re not winning matches it just tends to snowball and things don’t go your way,” said Toovey.
“We’ll just have to work twice as hard to turn things around and get some of that luck.”
One of the star performers for Brisbane who is enjoying a rich run of form is Jack Reed. His efforts are not going unnoticed as he drew lengthy praise from captain Justin Hodges.
“It’s the hardest I’ve seen him work and the fittest he’s been and the best his body shape he’s had,” said Hodges.
“He’s worked hard and it’s a credit to him. He’s worked hard and he’s got his spot and he wants to keep it.”
Player of the Game:
3. Jack Reed
2. Daniel Vidot
1. Ben Hunt
Brisbane Broncos 44 (Daniel Vidot 2, Anthony Milford 2, Justin Hodges, Ben Hunt, Jack Reed, Jordan Kahu tries; Jordan Kahu 5 goals) def. Manly Sea Eagles 10 (Peter Hiku, Brett Stewart tries; Jamie Lyon 1 goal) at Suncorp Stadium. Crowd: 28,691. Half-time: Broncos 20-6. On report: Justin Horo (Sea Eagles). Holden Cup: 28-all.