The talk of the town was Tom Trbojevic and would he be fit to play; the good news for Manly Sea Eagles fans, he was. The bad news is that it made no difference as his side was humbled by the Brisbane Broncos.
Led by a Selwyn Cobbo hat-trick, the Broncos effectively dominated from start to finish and guaranteed that they will end Magic Round in first place.
It took ten minutes for the scorers to be troubled as Reece Walsh took the line on, grubbered ahead and found Cobbo for his first try of the game.
A second quickly followed as Billy Walters caught the Manly defence napping and burrowed his way over from dummy half.
Walsh and Cobbo would combine for a second time in the half, this time going through the hands and leaving Cobbo a straightforward finish in the corner.
The Broncos were not done in the first half as they went right this time and scored via Jesse Arthars after a lovely tap-on from Kurt Capewell saw him in space out wide.
Despite no points being scored for almost 30 minutes after that, the game produced some exciting moments.
Further points would eventually come when Cobbo plucked a wayward Manly pass out of thin air and he raced away to score to complete his hat-trick.
Herbie Farnworth got his name on the scoresheet as he scored the Broncos final try, pushing himself over the line from dummy half.
Manly would get a consolation try as the two Trbojevic brothers combined; Tom taking the line on, spinning and offloading and Ben being there to finish the try.
That would end the scoring as Manly are left to lick their wounds and wonder what went wrong.
Manly coach Anthony Seibold admits his side gave them too much of a headstart and despite a better second half, they failed to capitalise.
“We just gave too much of a head start,” said Seibold.
“I thought second half we competed pretty strongly, but ultimately we couldn’t get across the line.”
Only conceding six points is what pleased Broncos coach Kevin Walters the most post-game.
“Six points against is probably the most pleasing thing from the night,” said Walters.
Brisbane Broncos 32 (Cobbo 3, Arthars, Farnworth, Walters; Goals: Reynolds 4) def. Manly 6 (B. Trbojevic; Goals: Garrick 1).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Reece Walsh (BRI)
2. Selwyn Cobbo (BRI)
1. Reuben Garrick (MAN)