Manly Sea Eagles 16 v Wests Tigers 12
at Brookvale Oval
Referees: Shayne Hayne
The Manly Sea Eagles have escaped from their Friday Night NRL clash with the Tigers with a 16-12 win, thanks to a last minute try to Brett Stewart. The match was deadlocked at 6-all at half time.
It took half an hour for Manly to open the scoring, with a try to Chris Hicks. It only took the Tigers five minutes to respond, Anthony Laffranchi dotting down under the uprights. The first half was largely restricted by less than ideal conditions, including a poor surface that led to many players losing their footing on the slippery turf.
The Tigers only took six minutes to post points in the second half, a slick backline move finished by Michael Crockett, Marshall converted from the sideline for a 12-6 lead. The six point lead looked unbeatable for much of the second half, and Benji hit the posts with a 58th minute penalty goal attempt looking for an eight point lead. The Eagles gave themselves a sniff with 10 minutes to go when Steve Matai scored in the corner after a Tigers mistake. It still looked as though the Tigers had the match leading 12-10, before Orford put up banana kick that beat Marshall and Brett Steward somehow maintained control of the ball to score next to the posts with only a minute to go ? Manly went up 16-12 and regathered the short kickoff. The Tigers had one last chance with two seconds to go, but knocked on before they could do anything.
Manly Sea Eagles: 16
Tries: Chris Hicks, Brett Stewart, Steve Matai
Goals: Travis Burns 2/3
Wests Tigers: 12
Tries: Anthony Laffranchi, Michael Crockett
Goals: Benji Marshall 2/3
By the Clock:
Good evening from Brookvale Oval. Tonights game is the defending premiers the Wests Tigers vs the Manly Sea Eagles.
Last week the Tigers were successful in winning the Grand Final replay 24-14, while the Sea Eagles were convincing in their 29-22 victory of the Panthers.
Brett Hodgson is on Origin duty for the Tigers, and they take to the field 1-17. Manly are missing Menzies, Kite and Bells. Leuluai is starting ahead of George Rose.
Menzies leads the Sea Eagles out through the 300 game banner and it is game time!
A bit of damp at Brookvale tonight. Not a huge crowd in attendance tonight - there are some large gaps on the hills.
1 min: The Eagles kick off!
6 min: Manly squander a good attacking opportunity and lose the ball a few metres out. A few errors so far.
7 min: Kennedy penalised for a high tackle and the Tigers get their first real attacking opportunity.
10 min: Lot of players losing their footing on kick returns.
13 min: The Tigers spread the ball on the last tackle, and winger is unable to hold onto a wayward pass the heads across the sideline.
16 min: The Tigers make a break, but Elford can't hold onto the pass from Laffrachi.
21 min: As the score suggests, a fairly even contest so far.
22 min: Manly are unable to capitalise on a Tigers error - the Tigers lose the ball 10 out and Manly drop the ball 5 out.
27 min: Tigers force a line drop out off a decent set in attack. Lolesi knocks on from the kick, which itself was a shocker.
30 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles move the ball wide, Hicks finds plenty of space ahead of him and he dots the ball down. Burns converts.
Sea Eagles 6-0
35 min: TRY Wests Tigers
The Tigers capitalise on a Manly error, Laffranchi barges over under the posts and he eventually manages to force the ball down. Marshall converts.
38 min: Tigers with the momentum at the moment.
HALFTIME: 6-all in a less than memorable game.
STATS: Tigers have a 53/47% lead in possession. Both teams are completing above 75% - Manly exactly that, the Tigers at 77%. Manly are 15/20, the Tigers 17/22. Offloads are three each, errors are 5-3 against the Tigers. Manly have made 175 tackles and missed 10, the Tigers are 164/14.
40 min: Both teams out on the field for the second half.
43 min: INJURY: Steve Matai suffering from a leg injury, and he has been interchanged. Or evidently he hasn't been interchanged. Still getting plenty of trainer support.
46 min: VIDEO REF for a Tigers try...
46 min: TRY Wests Tigers
The Tigers spread the ball and Collis comes up with a nice pass to Crockett who somehow gets the ball down in the corner. Marshall converts from the touchline.
51 min: The Tigers have all the momentum, and the force a drop out.
52 min: VIDEO REF for a Tigers try...
52 min: NO TRY - Wests Tigers
The video referee spins up a refs call, and Shayne Hayne says that Laffranchi was held up on the last tackle.
54 min: Prince puts up a fantastic bomb that gets Steward forced in the ingoal, little pushing and shoving after the whistle.
56 min: ATTEMPTED PENALTY GOAL Wests Tigers
The Sea Eagles are penalised and Marshall hits the uprights with the penalty attempt.
62 min: Tuiaki makes a clean break, and the Tigers almost score on the next and last play.
68 min: Still a tight contest. It's all a battle of field position, and the Tigers are winning that battle.
70 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
The Tigers make an error, and after 4 tackles Kennedy somehow gets the ball away to a support player who dribbles the ball across the ground to Matai who scores out wide. Burns hooks the vital conversion.
75 min: Prince puts in a great kick that is recovered by Elford, who throws the ball into Brett Steward and Manly survive.
79 min: VIDEO REF for a Manly try...
79 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Orford puts in a banana kick, the bounce evades Marshall and Brett Steward somehow picks up and juggles the ball, and he scores next to the posts. Burns converts.
Sea Eagles 16-12
FULLTIME: The Sea Eagles have come back and have stolen the match off the Tigers.
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 - Ben Kennedy
2 - Matt Orford
1 - Anthony Laffranchi
Sea Eagles steal late win