Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 30-12 loss to the North Queensland Cowboys at Brookvale Oval tonight in round 19 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 7643, the Sea Eagles trailed 20-6 at half-time and could not pull in a Cowboys side led well by half-back Jonathan Thurston.
Peta Hiku returned from a knee injury to replace Tom Trbojevic while Ligi Sao started the game for the injured Dunamis Lui (knee).
The Cowboys opened the scoring in the sixth minute through a try to winger Antonio Winterstein that was converted by Jonathan Thurston for a 6-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles drew level in the 17th minute when half-back Daly Cherry Evans grubber kicked a forced pass from the Cowboys to score a 25 metre try under the posts. Jamie Lyon converted the try for a 6-all scoreline.
A weight of field possession inside the Sea Eagles quarter led to a try to Cowboys centre Kane Linnett in the 28th minute. Thurston converted for a 12-6 lead after 29 minutes.
Thurston extended the lead to 14-6 when he converted a field goal in the 32nd minute.
The Cowboys went to an 18-6 lead when Winterstein grabbed his second try in the 38th minute. Thurston converted for a 20-6 lead after 39 minutes.
Cherry-Evans did not return for the second half due to a shoulder injury suffered late in the first half.
Manly Warringah started the second half off on the best possible note when full-back Brett Stewart dived on a grubber kick from Kieran Foran. Lyon converted to leave the home side trailing 20-12 after 44 minutes.
A slick pass from Thurston saw five-eighth Michael Morgan beat Justin Horo to dive over in the 60th minute for a 24-12 lead. Thurston failed to convert the try.
Hooker Jake Granville finished off a break by Morgan to score under the posts in the 66th minute. Thurston converted for a 30-12 lead.
The loss leaves the Sea Eagles on 16 points ahead of this Saturday’s away clash against the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium.