THE GOOD: Wow I'm still catching my breath, and that's just from trying to get through the hundreds of fans stranded outside the ground at kick off. It pays to be a season ticket holder folks. (But what was that ridiculously long queue about? Did they eventually all get in?) Well what we saw last night was a team who came out incredibly focused, intent on causing carnage through the ruck, eager to run the ball scarily wide and fast, and overall absolutely dead set determined to come away with a vital win. I'm talking about Parramatta. How good were they? Very, very good. When the half time siren sounded Dessie sat in the box seemingly unable to move and with a look of deep concern on his face. Hardly surprising seeing as he'd seen us seemingly give up more line breaks in one half that we surely had all season with Hayne on fire. With that sort of opening you'd expect the half time score to be well in their favour, but of course as we all know Manly 2011 are a tough nut to crack and with everything Parra threw at us we threw most of it back, complete with some blistering attack from the Stewarts and Wolfie including Brett's 58th try from 59 Brookie games. (Is that incredible or what?!) So to the second half. Parra threw even more at us and scored early to narrow our lead to just 16-14. Our fatigue factor became a real concern with only 2 on the bench given T Rex was long gone up the tunnel with a busted 1st half hammie and Mauro was curiously left under wraps again. Parra's 2nd try to grab an 18-16 lead was quickly followed by a 65th minute deadly soaring 40/20. From that set you could smell Parra going in for the finishing kill, and when McGuire made a surge for the try line it looked like game over, but a determined George threw the whole pie shop on top of him to not only miraculously save the killer try but in the process dislodging the ball from a totally stunned McGuire's grasp. Don't you just love those momentum swinging moments? With 14 minutes to go it became a real arm wrestle test of endurance. We lifted. They lifted. Hayne kept sending booming kicks over the dead ball line. Was that a great territorial tactic or was it in fact doing us a big breath catching favour? I'm thinking the latter. 10 to go it's still an arm wrestle. 7 to go surely our lucks run out and where going to lose our first game at home. 5 to go it's impossible isn't it they've just been too damn good tonight? 4.5 to go and the Manly 2011 'we are NEVER beaten' team of champions surges one more time down the right hand side. DCE pops a great ball over a few heads for Brett and Jamie spin to spin it out for a Wolfie desperate sideline run. The great Luke Burt makes the tackle, but somehow, (and I've no idea how even after checking the replay this morning), Wolfie gets a bending speculator kick in field, the exhausted Parra cover defence are beaten to the chase by the ultimate terrior athletes Foran and Ballin, and it's Foran who dives on the ball inches from the dead ball line to seal an impossible victory. Brookie erupts as one. We look to the Fox box a metre behind me for the verdict and before the video ref's even hit the button Warren Smith and Brandy both shoot us beaming "it's a try" thumbs ups. Euphoria all around, and what great blokes to share the moment with the sea of maroon below them despite of course being in the thick of the commentary live on air, and in Brandy's case not exactly known for liking us (note Daley sat there very quietly, hmmm discuss). Ahhh you gotta love your footy. Individually, where to start again? Everyone did their job to a tee. Our forwards never stopped working under immense strain given only 2 on the bench. (Dessie we love your rotation system but could there possibly be a good reason to give Mauro just 3 end of games minutes in a game that exhausting?). All the backs were good too on a night when they were on triple Hayne danger alert. Brett gave us some mouth watering tastes of his blistering pace being right back in tune, and for mine the standout and man of the match was Wolfie. That diving kick in field won us the game, simple as that. THE BAD: Some unusual holes in defence, but were they bad or was it an on fire determined Parra. I think the latter given they threw everything at us all night long. I am in awe of Ballin's work rate and weekly 45 tackles, but he's gotta add some attack to that like the great no 9's do. Perhaps pretty tough given he works his butt off for the full 80, but I'm just talking some a few dummy half sprints here and there. Other than that my only complaints were the injuries, T Rex will be sorely missed as will the unsung hero of our pack big Joe Guluvao. I noticed Kingy skipped the victory lap and hobbled up the tunnel too. Does anyone know when Shane Rodney is back? THE UGLY: Brookie. I've loved it like a brother for decades, but taking my girlfriend for her first ever game last night highlighted how embarrassingly inadequate it is. Hopelessly long queue's outside the ground at kick off (13,900 is hardly a full house), dreadful catering and toilet facilities, and well, need I go on. We simply need a Bluetongue dropped into Brookie and very soon. Again let's finish on a positive, that gutsy win was the sort that wins premierships. Bring on the Dragons.