Manly have put a week of turmoil behind them, producing a magnificent performance to destroy NRL competition leaders Brisbane 44-14 and giving unwanted coach Geoff Toovey plenty to smile about in his 100th game in charge.
The eight-tries-to-three win keeps the Sea Eagles’ finals hopes alive, with the stirring victory in Gosford coming just four days after Toovey being told his services are not required for next season.
Brisbane had no answer to the Sea Eagles with centre Jamie Lyon, five-eighth Kieran Foran and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans all outstanding for Manly in front of a lively crowd of 16,280 at Central Coast Stadium.
The game was in the bag for Manly at halftime after a brilliant opening 40 minutes gave the Sea Eagles a 20-0 lead at halftime.
Lyon was instrumental in setting up the victory, producing several outstanding plays.
The Sea Eagles rocketed out of the blocks opened the scoring through young winger Tom Trbojevic, who ended up with a double.
A Cherry-Evans grubber kick hit a Broncos player and found its way to Lyon who popped a magical flick pass to the winger on the right edge.
Manly scored again three minutes later with a stunning try to Foran.
The Sea Eagles pushed it to the right edge and Lyon beat a couple of defenders before kicking inside for Brett Stewart who kicked off the ground.
Brisbane’s Corey Oates looked as though he defused the situation by diving on the ball, but he lost control on his own line and Foran picked it up and scored.
Lyon was at it again soon after, scoring himself when he was able to get on the outside of Jack Reed to score on the right edge.
Manly bagged their fourth try when Lyon combined brilliantly with Trbojevic.
The winger tapped a Daly Cherry-Evans cross-field kick back into play and Lyon produced a deft kick into the in-goal with Jesse Sene-Lefao diving on the ball to score just before halftime.
The Sea Eagles scored four second-half tries after repelling a brief Brisbane fightback with Foran finishing the night with a double.
The victory continued Manly’s great record in Gosford, having won 13 of 16 matches at the Central Coast Stadium.
Toovey became just the sixth coach in Manly’s history to coach them to 100 or more games.