The Manly Sea Eagles kick-started their season with a surprising win over the North Queensland Cowboys on Saturday night.
It was a good start for the Sea Eagles, who went up by two early through a converted penalty from Dylan Walker.
However, North Queensland quickly took control of the game, with Johnathon Thurston making it two-all via a penalty of their own, and converting Jake Granville’s try shortly after.
The Cowboys were unable to punish Manly for being sloppy on the ball, but instead paid the price themselves, as a 40-20 kick from Daly Cherry-Evans, followed by a brilliant grubber, lead to a big try from Jorge Taufua.
Walker was able to convert to make it even just two minutes before halftime.
There would be one more twist in the half, as Thurston’s poor kick near the Manly try line was picked up by Tom Trbojevic, who made a brilliant full field run to put the Sea Eagles ahead.
Walker converted for a third time to make sure his side led by six at halftime.
The second half saw the Sea Eagles continue their dominant spell, with Walker putting Manly ahead by two via another penalty.
Shortly after Brenton Lawrence scored and Walker converted again to extend the Sea Eagles lead by 14.
The Cowboys would continue to give away more penalties, allowing Walker to convert his sixth kick and third penalty.
From there, North Queensland found some new life, and pushed forward with attack after attack.
Despite getting over the line twice, and throwing everything they had Manly, the Cowboys were unable to break down their opponent’s defence.
The Sea Eagles worked incredibly hard defensively to continuously deny North Queensland.
The same cannot be said about the Cowboys, who conceded one last try against the run of play.
Shaun Lane’s great run ended with a good pass to Jackson Hastings, who got his first try of the night.
Walker would convert one more kick as Manly went on to secure a famous win.
North Queensland Cowboys 8
Manly Sea Eagles 30