Match Report v Bulldogs
The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have recorded their second win of the season off the back of a Michael Cheekam 95 metre try.
In a game that ended frantically, it was dull first half with either side making a headway. Manly enjoyed most of the possession early on but were unable to make it count and it was the Bulldogs who ended up scoring first points. Winger Jarrod McInally scored in the corner after a swift backline move opened up the Sea Eagles out wide. The speedster then converted his own try and the Bulldogs led 6-0.
However, it didn’t take long the Silvertails to respond with Michael Cheekam pouncing on a well placed grubber kick for his first try of the game. The kick was successful and they were all level.
A tight first half was sparked five minutes from time when Manaia Rudolph applied the finishing touches to a 12-point turn around, with the Bulldogs missing the chance to take the lead. The Sea Eagles got themselves down the other end of the field with the help of a penalty and strong running. With no where to go after a failed set play, Rudolph danced his way through the Bulldogs defence and then burrowed his way over the try line right under the post to set up the easiest of conversions for Kurt Aldridge.
Manly finished the second half with a strong defensive set as the Bulldogs pushed for an equaliser, but the men from the Northern Beaches held out and they returned to the sheds with a 12-6 lead.
The second half started with a renewed pace that was lacking in the first. Manly almost grabbed themselves a breakaway try when Ben Fritz broke into open space. However, the fill in fullback lost the ball as he was brought down and the Bulldogs scored only moments later. Once again is was winger Jarrod McInally who scored, finishing of some good build up play; however the winger was able to convert his own try and Manly held a two point advantage.
The game then slowed right down and for 20 minutes with both sides unable to take the advantage.
Manly looked to kill off the game with 15 minutes to go and would have felt hard done by when Fritz’s fancy tap back to Tony Satini was ruled forward. Manly then had a second chance at grabbing the game but an over placed kick went over the dead ball line giving the dogs the seven tackle restart.
With Manly stretched the Bulldogs pace men took full advantage and sped 80 metres down the field to take a narrow lead with ten minutes to go.
However, the Bulldogs then got caught out in a similar matter. A missed place kick bounced perfectly into the hands of Michael Cheekam, who ran straight through a one on one tackle and sprinted 95 metres down the field to score right under the posts in a real sucker punch for the Bulldogs.
The game saw out a nervous end with unforced errors removing any chance of more points being scored.
Manly ran out close winners 18-14 in a tight match against the Bulldogs on a clod Friday night.