The Roar
The Roar


Brisbane Broncos vs Manly Sea Eagles all-time greatest match-up

Darren Lockyer leads the Broncos out for the final time at Suncorp Stadium (AAP Image/Action Photographics, Colin Whelan)
Roar Guru
19th February, 2016

This is the first match-up article in a series comparing the NRL all-time greatest teams, today pitting the Brisbane Broncos against the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.

Both these clubs have been extremely successful winning 14 premierships between them, Manly have eight to Brisbane’s six.

I will compare both these team’s strengths to determine who would win in a hypothetical match.

There are a few ground rules I want to go through before we get into the teams:

1. The fixture match-ups were determined randomly online.
2. Assume every player is playing at their peak and in their prime.
3. Only consider how they played for that club, e.g. Johnathan Thurston won’t be included into the Bulldogs team as he was a bench player and didn’t play as well.
4. The winner will be determined by myself however which teams acclimates most votes will be a huge factor in the decision.
5. I will post this on fan forums of both teams sites to see their perspective and their reasoning.

Now onto the good stuff – these are the team I named during my series.

Brisbane Broncos
1. Darren Lockyer
2. Wendell Sailor
3. Steve Renouf
4. Justin Hodges
5. Michael Hancock
6. Kevin Walters
7. Alfie Langer
8. Shane Webcke
9. Jerrod Walters
10. Glen Lazarus
11. Gorden Tallis
12. Brad Thorn
13. Corey Parker
14. Shaun Berrigan
15. Tonie Carroll
16. Gene Miles
17. Petro Civoniceva

State of Origins: 305
Internationals: 306

– Lazarus and Webcke form one the greatest prop combinations ever.


– Alfie Langer of the best halves ever, the small but talented halfback’s running game behind those forwards will be very difficult to defend.

– Outside backs. Renouf one of the greatest try-scorers ever, Sailor a powerful winger who walks on top of opposition, Hodges’ left foot step and palm made him one of the best centres of his time.

– Backrow. The aggression and rage of Tallis, uncanny offloading ability of Corey Parker, and class of dual international Brad Thorn makes for an incredible forward pack.

– Darren Lockyer, what else can be said, one of the greats of this era, his ball skills and Footy IQ made him constant threat in attack.

Manly- Warringah Sea Eagles
1. Brett Stewart
2. Graham Eadie
3. Bob Fulton
4. Jamie Lyon
5. Michael O’ Connor
6. Cliff Lyons
7. Geoff Toovey
8. Roy Bull
9. Max Krillich
10. John O’Neil
11. Terry Randall
12. Steve Menzies
13. Malcolm O’Reilly
14. Des Hasler
15. Paul Vautin
16. Anthony Watmough
17. Alan Thompson
State Of Origins: 160
Internationals: 216

– Their forward pack may not be the most skillful but they may be the most aggressive pack ever assembled, they are fiery and will beat teams physically.

– Support play and blistering speed of Brett Stewart will thrive on offloads and be a threat whenever the ball is in his hands.

– Halves pairing of Lyons and Toovey, they compliment each other well, Toovey’s running game with Lyons’ ball playing ability.


– Graham Eadie although playing wing, he will still be dangerous in attack he was a game breaker, breaks plenty of tackles and set up many tries.

– The centre paring with Jamie Lyon who was the best centre in his prime he could set up his outside man like no other. Bob Fulton an Immortal who had used his footwork and his superhuman speed to break defensive lines at will.

I’d like to see who you think will win in a hypothetical match, I have highlighted the strengths of these teams – now let the debate begin.