Busted, bruised and down but the Sea Eagles were definitely not out in Auckland tonight!
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded their most courageous win of the season at Mt Smart Stadium in beating the Warriors 32-12.
Reduced to no men on the interchange bench from the 63rd minute due to injuries, the Sea Eagles showed the guts, determination and desire to win against all odds against the seventh-placed Warriors. The famous Sea Eagles spirit was on show and keeps the team’s finals chances alive.
The Sea Eagles lost centre Steve Matai (concussion) and forwards Luke Burgess (knee) and Legi Sao (knee) through first half injuries.
Second-rower Tm Symonds suffered a knee injury and left the field in the 63rd minute, resulting in only the trainers and officials left near the team bench.
However the Sea Eagles showed tremendous spirit to dig deep against the Warriors, who lost half-back Shaun Johnson with a leg injury before half-time. He was taken to hospital.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring in the ninth minute when prop Jake Trbojevic strolled over from a good offload by lock Ligi Sao. Lyon converted for a 10-0 lead.
It was the fifth try of the day for the Trbojevic brothers at Mt Smart Stadium after Tom Trbojevic scored four tries earlier in Manly Warringah’s Holden Cup victory.
Matai suffered the concussion injury after slamming his head down hard on the turf in chasing a kick through.
The Sea Eagles were denied a try to winger Jorge Taufua in the 22nd minute when the video referee ruled Symonds ran into a defender.
Shaun Johnson opened his side’s account with a try in the 25th minute but suffered the leg injury in scoring. Centre Tuimoala Lolohea converted for a 6-all scoreline.
Burgess then suffered his knee injury from the re-start.
The Sea Eagles started the second half off well when a nice cut out pass from Kieran Foran found the chest of Taufua who dived over to score. Lyon failed to convert the try for a 10-6 scoreline after 46 minutes.
A smart inside grubber kick from half-back Daly Cherry-Evans saw the ball bounce off the knee of a Warriors player for full-back Brett Stewart to score next to the posts. Lyon converted the try in the 48th minute to give Manly Warringah a 16-6 lead.
Taufua grabbed his second try after nice work by Stewart and Symonds. Lyon converted from the sideline for a 22-6 lead.
Stewart got his second try when he put through a short kick to regather to score for a 26-6 scoreline.
The Warriors reduced the margin to 26-12 with a converted try to Albert Vete before the Sea Eagles secured victory in the 77th minute when Matt Ballin dived over from dummy half. Lyon converted the try for the 32-12 scoreline.
The win moves the Sea Eagles to 18 points, four points behind the eighth placed Cronulla.
Manly Warringah play competition leaders Brisbane Broncos at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford, next Saturday night at 7.30pm.