Just a week after controversy helped the Sharks to a win, this week it came back to take the victory away from them after a controversial Jorge Taufua try helped Manly get the win.
The game started off quite evenly with both sides coughing up clear chances in the opening minutes of the match. Soon after the Sea Eagles took the early lead through a Jamie Lyon Penalty goal to take a 2-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
The Sea Eagles then extended their lead in the 15th minute through a Steve Matai try however it did have to get the final tick off from Video Referees Bernard Sutton and Luke Phillips, the conversion pushed it out 8-0.
The momentum was all with Manly throughout the opening 20 minutes with all the attacking raids from the Sharks being easily dealt with by their defence.
The Sharks then scored somewhat against the tide through Michael Gordon who converted his own try to bring the margin back to 2 points.
However, as had been the case all night some Daly Cherry-Evans magic helped Manly to score once again off one of many perfect kicks throughout the night, this time it was Kieran Foran who scored under the posts.
That gave Manly a 14-6 lead at the half time break. Although they had the lead, the dressing room cameras showed that Geoff Toovey was not a happy coach, just like his opposing coach Shane Flanagan.
The early stages of the second half didn’t start all that well for the Sea Eagles with both Justin Horo and Jamie Lyon going down with injury. Both managed to stay on the field and signalled a minor change of luck with a try not long after.
The try will be one of a few talking points out of the match as replays showed that Jorge Taufua lost control off the ball before whilst trying to ground it, however the Video Referees decided that there was insufficient evidence to overturn the onfield call which was a try.
The Sharks then sparked in to gear soon after with Andrew Fifita showing some great athleticism to score a try which after quite a number of Video Referee replays was awarded and brought the margin back to six points.
Manly then managed to cross again through Daly Cherry-Evans after some good passing although there were some question on them, this brought the margin back to 12 points and looked a lot safer.
Although they held a 12 point lead the Sea Eagles were far from being comfortable leaders as they were out on their feet and in the 66th minute the Sharks scored through Jonathan Wright to score a try and bring the margin back to 6 points after the conversion.
With just five minutes remaining the Sharks looked to score an equaliser and were set to send the game to golden point, only to have it ruled No Try onfield and by the Video Referees after what can only be described as a brain snap from John Morris who took out Matt Ballin at marker while in an offside position.
The Sharks 2013 season is over and will look to put a difficult year behind them, meanwhile the Sea Eagles have the tough task of taking on the South Sydney Rabbitohs next week at ANZ Stadium.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14-6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Daly Cherry-Evans
2 points - Michael Gordon
1 point - Kieran Foran
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (24)
Tries: Anthony Watmough, Kieran Foran, Jorge Taufua, Daly Cherry-Evans
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (3/3), Daly Cherry-Evans (0/1)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (18)
Tries: Michael Gordon, Andrew Fifita, Jonathan Wright
Conversions: Michael Gordon (3/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Sharks – Todd Carney didn't pass his fitness test this evening. Chad Townsend comes into the line up at 5/8th, Luke Lewis shifts into the 2nd row as a result. Jayson Bukuya moves to the bench with Bryce Gibbs ruled out.
Sea Eagles: 19. Peta Hiku 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Glenn Stewart
Interchange: 14. Richie Fa'aoso 15. Jamie Buhrer 16. Tom Symonds 17. George Rose
Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Sosaia Feki 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Jonathan Wright 5. Beau Ryan 19. Chad Townsend 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. John Morris 10. Sam Tagataese 6. Luke Lewis 12. Wade Graham 13. Paul Gallen (c)
Interchange: 11. Jayson Bukuya 14. Isaac De Gois 15. Chris Heighington 17. Anthony Tupou
Ben Pomeroy makes an unforced error.
First error of the match from Ben Pomeroy, gives the Sea Eagles attacking position on the Sharks 30m line
Brent Kite makes an unforced error.
A one-on-one trysaver from Jeff Robson on Brent Kite saves the day for the Sharks and forces an error
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Sea Eagles take the easy 2 points and will put their first points on the scoreboard for over 90 minutes of action
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 2-0
Scored by Anthony Watmough. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Try awarded from the Video Referees, converted from close range by Jamie Lyon
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8-0
Brent Kite makes an unforced error.
Poor pass from the Sea Eagles forces Brent Kite low but can't clean it up
Daly Cherry-Evans makes an unforced error.
Some excellent combination play and then possibly one pass too many ends up with a knock on from
Scored by Michael Gordon. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
The man known as Flash scores for the Sharks after the defence opens up like Sydney Heads, Conversion Perfect
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8-6
Richie Fa'aoso makes an unforced error.
A strong tackle from the Sharks forces the ball loose, Scrum with the Sharks 35m from their own line
Matt Ballin makes an unforced error.
Daly Cherry-Evans throws a torpedo pass that's put down by Matt Ballin, pressure off the Sharks
Scored by Kieran Foran. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Daly Cherry-Evans puts another perfect kick into the ingoal and this time Kieran Foran is there to score the try
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14-6
Isaac De Gois makes an unforced error.
Daly Cherry-Evans puts another good grubber kick that's knocked on by De Gois
Scored by Jorge Taufua. Conversion attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans unsuccessful.
Video Referees award the try with insufficient evidence to overturn the call, under some Controversy - DCE misses the goal
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18-6
Scored by Andrew Fifita. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Andrew Fifita shows great athleticism to score and Michael Gordon converts
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18-12
Kieran Foran makes an unforced error.
Kieran Foran runs 30m and goes through a hole only to drop the ball in a strong tackle a metre from the tryline
Scored by Daly Cherry-Evans. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Some lineball passes help Manly create an overlap which they use through Daly Cherry-Evans to score
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-12
Scored by Jonathan Wright. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Everything's ALWRIGHT for the Sharks - some poor defence in the middle of the defensive line helps Jono Wright to score under the posts
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-18
Steve Matai makes an unforced error.
Steve Matai drops the ball to give the Sharks a chance with 90 seconds remaining