By Phil Gould August 8, 2005 The Analyst Every player and every team goes into a game of first grade football wanting to win. But there are many different levels of desire, and during an 80-minute examination under the pressure of NRL your level of hunger is tested many times. Yesterday the Broncos wanted to win their game against Manly. However, Manly had to win. That was the big difference. More often than not this higher level of desperation manifests itself in greater intensity and consistency in defensive efforts. For a start, players seem to hit harder. I once heard an old American NFL coach say: "Football is not a contact sport, it's a collision sport." The name of the game is hit. He went on to say: "Unless you win the battle of the hitting, then you are not going to win the other battles, either." Well, yesterday Manly won the battle of the hitting. They refused to be intimidated by the size, speed and skill of their illustrious opponents. As the game went on they seemed to hit harder and harder. All their players had sting in their defence and on several occasions this forced the Broncos into errors. With the scores close midway through the second half, the Broncos became frustrated at their own mistake rate and the home team grew in confidence. The second sign of desperation in defence is seen in the way a team scrambles back to save tries after having its line broken. The Broncos played some pretty good attacking football and at times they appeared able to break the Manly line at will. However, once in the clear they were quickly rounded up by defenders who protected their try line like they were guarding the crown jewels. The Manly defence gave its home fans plenty of reasons to cheer. Fans are smart. They can see when their team is having a dig. Maybe they didn't believe their team could beat the Broncos but they could see their boys were giving it their best shot. That was enough for them to get vocal. When Manly scored and converted the first try of the second half to level the scores, they also convinced their fans an upset was on the cards. As each minute passed they turned the crowd from hopeful supporters into true believers. After being among the leaders of the competition for most of the year, Manly have got the staggers in recent times and, despite their best efforts, have not been able to come up with a win. Yesterday they had plenty of opportunities to finally crack under the strain and give up. But they refused to take the easy way out. They gritted their teeth, stuck together and pulled off a stunning upset. Twice in the first half the Broncos skipped out to an eight-point lead but Manly refused to let go. Several crucial 50/50 calls went against them. Instead of thinking it wasn't going to be their day or arguing with the referee, the Sea Eagles remained focused and took it all in their stride. They needed this win and refused to be denied. Manly didn't play prettily. They don't have sensational set plays that make the crowd gasp in appreciation. They haven't got players who get you out of your seat the second they touch the ball. Their kicking game is adequate, not brilliant. Their passes tend to wobble in the breeze and sometimes miss the mark rather than spiral directly towards the intended target. But they have bucket loads of heart and courage. Sometimes you don't need much else.