THE GOOD: From the minute we emphatically sealed the crushing win over the Cowboys it was obvious how important the week off would be. Not only did it give us the golden chance to get over all the injuries, bumps and bruises, but mentally to slide straight back under the radar and leave all the attention on Lockyer (jaw or not it would have been the same media infatuation including the oddly pointless big screen video just before kick off). Clearly we started very poorly against the Cowboys and I suspect two major reason were the inescapable fact that no matter how important it seemed it wasn't a sudden death situation, and on top of that the very poor crowd. And so to last night where it was the complete reverse. From the moment the boys ran out there last night you could feel the hair on the back of your neck. The magnificent and massive crowd support, particularly where I was perched in the midst of bay 35, was just extraordinary. To hear thousands in unison singing the slow gospel like "Mannnnnnn-leeeeeee, Mannnnnnnn-leeeee" before the very kick off was a force that clearly moved the players. It's a battle cry to exceed all others and when sung by thousands it's a 10 point start already. 1st half. Quite obviously Des' grand plan was to own the first 20 minutes to send the Broncos reeling, and that's exactly what we executed. Ballin's 4th minute burrowing try might not have been classic footy but it was classic mental torture on Brisbane. It was the first stunning belt and with it came a torrent of further damaging blows to leave the Broncos reeling both physically and mentally. DCE continued his rookie of the year just gets better every week form with a dominant display literally having a hand in everything. 6-0 quickly became 10-0 and the Man-ly (clap clap clap) chant was in full voice. You could feel the electricity running through our players veins with guys like Choc and T Rex itching to play steamroller. The first stunning 20 minutes was capped off with a golden short ball from DCE to put Brett through a delicious hole and plant a 16-0 complete dominance. The Broncos 30th minute somewhat in-defendable try was if anything a good reality check. 16-4 did no real scoreboard damage but it certainly did enough to keep us fully focused. A near perfect 1st half that left the Broncos reeling from Dr Des' prescription. There are no certainties in footy but you couldn't help but sense our team were incapable of even vaguely considering a loss. 2nd half: Equally as clearly as our first half attitude was the obvious intention to ram the pressure even further up the Broncos necks from the get go. The Hoppa 47th try was a direct result of that and a 20-4 scoreline had the look of a very large win looming. The remaining 30 minutes were always going to pose a question when a game is all but won. I'm not entirely sure if we took the foot just ever so slightly off the pedal, or perhaps it was simply credit to the baby Broncos for throwing all they had at us? A mental lapse in defence certainly gifted Wallace with the 52nd minute soft try under the posts. But sensing it was once again his personal time to stand up and cement a victory our magnificent Foran took the stage. A towering 58th minute bomb looked to be safely in Beale's arms until a milli second perfect leap from the incredible Foran ripped the heart out of the Broncos and sent them back up the F3. What a leap. What a try. 26-10 and game over. The Broncos sure kept trying hard, but the final 20 minutes featured not one but two miraculous matching defining moments by our Lyon hearted captain. The first when a precariously dangerous cross field bomb was defused with his incredible leap above the towering Bronco arsenal. The second when a freakish loose ball resulted in the dangerously lazy Hodges weaving Gillett under the posts for what appeared to be a certain nerve wrangling try, except for the fact that our captain courageous found the unbelievable strength and timing to wedge himself under Gillett and hold up the closest of shaves. As Gus would say wow wow wow. Game absolutely over, despite the Broncos running in a neat 72nd min try in the corner. A truly superb shut out and another fantastic GF to savour. Individual performances. Brett was rock solid, made a couple of great tackles when needed, and lurked dangerously many times without fully hitting his stride. My tip? Watch out for him to explode next week. Hoppa was every bit as sensational as his 185 metres in attack. We will miss him so much. (Hoppa surely you can do a mission thing when you retire I mean.....ok back to the topic). Robbo was his usual perfect portrait of safety. Matai solid as always, Jamie and Foz inspirational. Once again all our forwards stood up like champions. Ballin had a blinder, our big men Kitey, Joe, Rodney, and George never took the foot of the gas. Choc's 185 metres was sensational and only for his weekly butterfingers moments he would have had a try or two to go with it. T Rex looked threatening all night and again great to see him play the full 80 mins. I suspect he will back to a bench role in the GF but what a damaging brute of an asset to have. And the other 3 off the bench? Mauro worked tirelessly but will probably end up an unlucky 18th next week. Buhrer is a fantastic trump card to bring on late, but is it just me or is the final 20 minutes just way too late? Would love to see him get at least 30 minutes. And Tim Robinson? Well only Des knows why he only got the final 11 minutes. Seems like a massive waste to me but who's to argue against the great man? Hard to pick a MOM but even harder to go past DCE who had a hand in 4/5 tries and led us around the park in a Sterling like display. Love it. THE BAD: The fact we just didn't put them away in the 2nd half. Sure we were never ever going to lose this game but it just felt a little disappointing to not rack up at least 30 points. No big deal though semis' are tough games and it's only the win that matters. THE UGLY: The media and all the total bull**** regarding those two absolutely nothing incidents that will now totally dominate the papers for the next few days. Puhhhlease. Tony Williams tackle was an embarrassing penalty let alone a charge. If the guy gets up it's not even mentioned but who wouldn't be stunned to be crunched in the upper chest by a giant? The media and of course all the Manly haters and jealousy ridden opposition fans (yes that's especially you sore as hell Saints and Tigers fans) will bang on and on about it but there's not a chance in hell Williams will get suspended. None. As for Matai it's another case of guilty by identity. If that was Robbo do you think it would have got a single mention today? Triple puhhhlease. It's night football. The guy slid over trying to stop a try. For anyone to even pretend there was some level of foul play is sheer hypocrisy at the highest level. Let's get on with it. In summary another magnificent dominant performance from our boys and a richly deserved GF. I hope it's Melb cos I'd love to wipe that smirk of Smith, Cronk, Slater and Bellyache once again. Let's lap up the week and enjoy every second of it cos I can feel the JJ shield on it's way back to fortress Brookie. There's no stopping the Manly freight train now. See you at ANZ.