Eagles upset Broncos' finals hopes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles upset Broncos' finals hopes

By Wayne Heming 26/07/2003 10:36:08 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane's quest for the National Rugby League minor premiership became a lot tougher on Saturday night after Manly won the "battle of the wounded" 26-20 at Suncorp Stadium.

Brisbane was missing strike weapons Darren Lockyer (ankle) and skipper Gorden Tallis (knee) and had four other players backing up from the Test romp over the hapless Kiwis.

But Manly had just as many hurdles to overcome.

The Eagles lost halves Jason Ferris and Ben Walker and centre Ben MacDougall (hamstring) joined them.

Fullback Brendon Reeves didn't even make it onto the field, suffering back spasms during the warm-up with rookie Glenn Stewart thrust into the game.

He had a much happier night, though, than Lockyer's teenager replacement Nick Parfitt.

Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett replaced him after a bad mistake helped replacement Anthony Watmough score a try to give Manly a 14-6 lead.

"It was 16-4 or 14-6 or something and we were struggling," said Bennett, who switched Michael De Vere to fullback late in the first half.

"It was no place for an 18 year-old.

"It wasn't his fault. He was trying his best."

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