A Daly Cherry-Evans field goal delivered Manly a 11-10 victory over Melbourne in a sensational contest at AAMI Park on Saturday.
Remarkably both teams had field goal attempts strike the posts in extra time, with Melbourne five-eighth Cameron Munster and Manly centre Dylan Walker each coming within centimetres of winning the match.
Led superbly by Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic, the Sea Eagles led 10-0 at half-time and looked well on their way to a character-building victory against the league leaders.
But the Storm came roaring back into the contest courtesy of tries to Will Chambers and Brandon Smith during a pulsating second half to draw level with the Sea Eagles and force extra time.
Both sides were tired and had chances to clinch the game via a field goal, but it was Cherry-Evans that kept his cool the best as the Sea Eagles stayed in touch with the top four and sent the Storm tumbling to their first loss since round eight.
The Sea Eagles stole the headlines during the lead-up to the match and they backed it up on the field as they made a promising start in front of almost 15,000 parochial fans in Melbourne.
Reuben Garrick slotted a penalty goal to open the scoring in the 10th minute and Curtis Sironen unluckily had a try disallowed shortly after due to an obstruction infringement.
Match: Storm v Sea Eagles
Round 19 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
- LIVE PASS
Trbojevic was causing the Storm problems at both ends of the field and it took a wonderful chase from Josh Addo-Carr to deny the Sea Eagles speedster a try out wide.
Cameron Smith used his experience to help the Storm earn three sets on the trot on the attacking line, only for Trbojevic and the Sea Eagles to remain solid at the back and ensure the hosts couldn't put any points on the board.
Garrick slotted another penalty goal on the stroke of half-time to make it 4-0 to the visitors and on the ensuing set a piece of Cherry-Evans craft with the boot produced the opening try of the night.
The veteran half-back snapped a cross-field kick that was held by Brad Parker, before Joel Thompson crossed over to ensure the Sea Eagles headed to the sheds in control.
Sironen was on hand early in the second hand to stifle a promising Storm interaction between Addo-Carr and Justin Olam, but it didn't take long for the hosts to work their way back into the contest.
DCE kick sets up team effort try
Trbojevic chased down Ryan Papenhuzen when the Storm rookie looked destined to score, before Chambers produced a moment of magic to somehow touch down his own grubber to bring the Storm back within six with half an hour to play.
The Storm were trying all their old tricks to draw level and it was Brandon Smith that made the decisive breakthrough when he did what his captain couldn't do and barged over from dummy half to help tie the score and set up a thrilling finale.
Chambers scores off his own kick
Cherry-Evans, Croft and Cameron Smith all missed chances to win it for their respective sides in regulation, before Munster and Dylan Walker had their efforts hit the crossbar during the first additional period of extra time.
It was then left to Cherry-Evans to win it for the visitors and the Sea Eagles veteran didn't let his side down as he slotted the winner from 25m to clinch the victory in style.