Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 20-8 loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium tonight in round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.
The only change made to the starting side named on Tuesday was Justin Horo replacing Willie Mason (flu) on the bench.
The Sea Eagles looked sharp in attack in the opening 20 minutes with the defence also firmed against the premiers.
Manly Warringah opened the scoring in the 25th minute when a crossfield kick on the last tackle by Kieran Foran saw the ball knocked back by Brett Stewart into the arms of Daly Cherry-Evans who floated a pass out for Peta Hiku to score. Hiku failed to convert his own try for a 4-0 lead after 27 minutes.
A drop ball from the first tackle from re-start by forward James Hasson saw Souths capitalise when winger Aaron Gray dived over a minute later. Isaac Luke failed to convert the try for a 4-all scoreline after 30 minutes.
Luke gave the Rabbitohs a 6-4 lead through a penalty goal in the 38th minute.
South Sydney went to a 10-4 lead in the 45th minute when the video referee overruled a decision by referee Matt Cecchin of no try to Bryson Goodwin. The replays showed the pass inside along the ground rolled forward. The try was awarded.
Two minutes later, the Rabbitohs extended the lead to 14-4 when Gray dived over for his second try. Luke failed to convert the try.
The Sea Eagles hit back when Matai dived over in the left corner after a blindside raid. Hiku failed to convert to leave Manly Warringah trailing 14-8 after 57 minutes.
A last tackle bomb by Luke Keary saw Alex Johnston catch the ball and throw an overhead pass for Keary to score of his own kick in the 65th minute. Luke converted the try to give Souths a 20-8 lead.
The loss leaves the Sea Eagles on the bottom of the ladder on 12 points heading into next Sunday’s match against Cronulla Sharks at Brookvale Oval.