The Manly Sea Eagles have won a golden point thriller over the Melbourne Storm, with Daly Cherry-Evans kicking a field goal to secure an 11-10 victory in Melbourne.
In the latest instalment of the Storm/Manly rivalry, the opening 20 minutes of the game was a battle between two quality forward packs. Both teams had their opportunities to score points but were unable to cross the stripe. As a result, Manly had to kick two penalty goals to take a 4-0 lead. For the remainder of the half, both sides traded repeat sets and dangerous attacking sets but still were not able to find the first try.
After a solid half from both teams, the shackles were finally broken. With a minute remaining in the half, Manly centre Brad Parker caught a Daly Cherry-Evans bomb on the full, passed back to Morgan Boyle who then offloaded for Joel Thompson to get across the stripe. Reuben Garrick converted to give Manly a surprising 10-0 lead at the break.
After going back and forth for the first few sets, the Storm found an answer to Manly’s defence. Will Chambers scored the Storm’s first try after grounding his own kick just inside the dead ball line. Keeping Manly under sustained pressure for the next 20 minutes, Brandon Smith cracked the defence again when he scooted out of dummy half level the scores at 10 in the 67th minute.
Daly Cherry-Evans had the first shot at field goal in the last five minutes but was not able to convert. The Storm had two chances, but both Brodie Croft and Cameron Smith missed. With neither team able to execute a field goal in regulation, they headed into golden point. The first period of extra time had plenty of drama, as Cameron Munster and Dylan Walker hit the upright with their field goal attempts. Just as it was looking like a draw, Daly Cherry-Evans stepped up and nailed a clutch field goal with just 37 seconds left in the game to hand Manly a huge 11-10 upset win.
Storm/Manly rivalry delivers again
These two teams have had some famous battles in the past decade and this one was no different. As always, this rivalry produced one of the games of the season by far. It went all the way to the 90th minute before a winner could be crowned, which is testament to how well both sides played. We can only hope these two teams can continue to deliver classic footy games like this each time they face each other, whether that’s in the regular season or in the finals.
Golden point proves it’s worth
It took nearly 90 minutes to find a winner in this one, but every minute of that 90 was well worth it. To think that we have had golden point for less than 20 years is unbelievable considering how much drama these games produce. They are so much better than a draw at the end of fulltime, but should there be a change to give both teams a reward for getting into golden point? 90 minutes is a long way to go to walk away with no competition points.
Storm out of sorts
It was a very uncharacteristic Melbourne Storm performance in this one. Much of that can be put down to Manly playing some good footy, especially in defence. However, it is very rare to see the Storm held scoreless in the first half when playing at home. They found themselves playing from behind for most of the game, something Melbourne have not had much practice with this year. Ultimately, it seemed the slow start may have cost them a victory tonight against a very good Manly side.
Turbo Tom remains unbeaten
Tom Trbojevic has spent a large amount of time this season on the sideline nursing a hamstring injury. In the nine games he has played (seven for Manly, two for NSW), he has not tasted defeat. It was evident he was a big part of the reason the Blues were able to get a series victory over Queensland. Since his return to the Manly side, they have looked like a top four team. It’s no coincidence they play their best footy with Turbo Tom at the back.
Melbourne Storm 10
Tries: Chambers, B. Smith
Goals: C. Smith 1/2
Drop Goals: Croft 0/2, Smith 0/1, Munster 0/1
Manly Sea Eagles 11
Goals: Garrick 3/3
Drop Goals: Cherry-Evans 1/2, Walker 0/1
Melbourne Storm: 1. Jahrome Hughes 2. Sandor Earl 3. Will Chambers 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Joe Stimson 17. Ryan Papenhuyzen
Manly Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Moses Suli 4. Brad Parker 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Manase Fainu 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Morgan Boyle 17. Taniela Paseka