SIX OF THE BEST - MANLY SEA EAGLES
Manly supporters always wonder why everyone else hates them. With the Sea Eagles playing the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday afternoon, maybe our latest Six of The Best will enlighten them.
1. Don McKinnon’s wee indiscretion here in 1988. As put he it, when you have to go, you have to go.
2. Bozo’s parting shot in 1987 to Bill Harrigan, “I hope you get hit by a cement truck on the way home.”
3. Arko goes wild in the west, 1980 ripping Boyd, Brown and Dorahy from the Wests Magpies
4. Manly scoring on the seventh tackle to win the 1978 semi-final against the Eels
5. The best whinge – Geoff Toovey demanding “there has be an investigation into this” after a 22-10 loss to the Rabbitohs.
6. The Hand of Foran, 2012. Diego Maradona had nothing on Kieren Foran when he batted a Daley Cherry-Evan kick forward for Michael Oldfield to score the try that killed off the Cowboys’ grand final hopes.
And that’s what we call Six of The Best. Agree? Disagree?
SIX OF THE BEST - JOHNATHAN THURSTON
Friday night sees the farewell home game for Johnathan Thurston, one of the greatest players ever to pull on a boot. What better way to wave him off than with JT’s Six of The Best?
1. 2015 Grand Final. Talk about a no-brainer. Whenever Thurston’s name is mentioned this moment will come to mind. With 13 seconds left and the Broncos leading 16-12 Thurston bounced out of a Adam Blair tackle and got the ball to Michael Morgan who put Kyle Feldt over for the tying score. Thurston missed the conversion but when Ben Hunt put down the golden-point kick-off he didn’t need to be asked twice, sending through the field-goal that won the Cowboys their first premiership.
2. Origin ll, 2017. It was to be JT’s 37th and last Origin, and what a way to go. Playing for most of the game with a badly injured shoulder Thurston still managed to do what he had done for Queensland so many times in the past – step up with the clutch play. With less than three minutes to go Michael Morgan put Dane Gagai over to tie it up at 16-all. Thurston shut out the pain to nail the conversion and set up a series decider which the Maroons duly won at Suncorp Stadium.
3. Origin lll, 2006. This one will always be remembered for Darren Lockyer’s try off a shocking Brett Hodgson pass but it was a touch of Thurston magic that helped keep the Maroons in the game. The game had started well for Queensland with Adam Mogg scoring off a Thurston kick, but with 10 minutes to go the Blues were up 14-4 following a questionable Eric Grothe try. Then Thurston stepped inside Luke O’Donnell 20 metres out from his own line and sent Brent Tate on a 70 metre-run for the try to set up the amazing finish to what Thurston rates as his most memorable Origin game.
4. Grand Final 2004. It wasn’t what Thurston did during the Bulldogs’ 16-13 win over the Roosters, but what happened afterwards that makes this special. The 18 year-old JT had only received a late call-up onto the bench when Bulldogs captain Steve Price was ruled out through injury. At full-time Thurston went over to Price and gave him his winners’ ring, a gesture that spoke volumes about the youngster and the man he would become.
5. Origin lll, 2008. We couldn’t possibly have a Six of the Best without at least one trademark JT “show and go” and they don’t come better than the dummy he threw to fool Brett White and Mitchell Pearce in the 2008 decider. With the game locked up at 10-all and 13 minutes left the Maroons needed something from their money man and he delivered, slicing through the befuddled Blues pair and putting Bill Slater away for the winning try.
6. Origin lll, 2015. You didn’t think we’d leave this one out did you? Queensland up 46-6 in the decider at Suncorp Stadium, Mitchell Pearce looking at yet another series loss and he makes the mistake of having crack at JT. Then comes arguably the greatest sledge in the history of Origin, if not sport itself. As Thurston described it, “I just told him he should go out the front and get a photo with Wally’s statue because that’s as close as he’s ever going to get to holding up the shield.”
And that, as I see it, is Six of The Best.
SIX OF THE BEST - Brisbane Broncos
With the Brisbane Broncos having just passed the milestone of attracting their six millionth spectator to Suncorp Stadium since the redevelopment in 2003, what better way to kick-off our new column Six of The Best than with a list of the Broncos’ six best home wins in that period?
1. Versus Eels, round 12, 2008. No-one who was there will ever forget the finish to this one. With the fulltime hooter sounding and the scores locked at 26-all, Darren Lockyer got the ball on the last tackle and kicked ahead for Denan Kemp who had already scored three tries. Kemp regathered and scorched down the sideline for the winner.
2. Versus Roosters, round 11, 2018. This match will always be remembered for James Roberts’ amazing show of speed to outpace four Roosters’ backs on the outside and step inside the cover to lock it up at 22-all, but it was what happened next that sets it apart. With the game going to golden point, rookie winger Jermayne Isaako got the ball unexpectedly, feinted to kick for field goal, dummied and then stepped his way through the defence for an amazing try.
3. Versus Dragons, semi-final, 2011. What better way for Darren Lockyer to end his last game on Suncorp Stadium than to kick the winning field goal for a 13-12 golden point win against the team coached by his former mentor Wayne Bennett?
4. Versus Cowboys, round 4, 2016. After the Cowboys’ heart-stopping golden point grand final win a few months earlier this was always going to be a big game and in front of a sold-out crowd it didn’t disappoint. Once again it went to extra time, and once again it looked like Johnathan Thurston had scored the winner but his try was disallowed for a bounced ball. Instead Anthony Milford stepped up and turned the tables with a perfectly executed 40 metre field goal to seal a 21-20 win.
5. Versus Roosters, final, 2015. The game that put the Broncos into the grand final was notable for many things – Darius Boyd’s gift intercept try after just 57 seconds, Sam Thaiday’s bone-rattling tackle on Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Jordan Kahu’s spectacular tap back from over the sideline for Ben Hunt to score for starters – but most of all for Anthony Milford’s brilliance in the Broncos’ 31-12 victory.
6. Versus Knights, round 11, 2007. The Broncos went into this game sitting last on the table. During the week the players promised their fans that they would turn things around against the Knights. They did, in the most emphatic manner, recording the highest score and biggest winning margin in the club’s history. It took seven minutes for Tonie Carroll to cross for the Brisbane’s first try and from then on it was an avalanche of points with the Broncos handing out a 71-6 thrashing.
And that, as I see it, is Six of The Best.