Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have finished runners-up in the 2015 Holden Cup competition.
In a match played in 35 degree heat, the Sea Eagles lost 34-18 to minor premiers Penrith Panthers at ANZ Stadium today.
The young Sea Eagles tried gallantly throughout but a series of mistakes saw the Panthers capitalise to take home the silverware. It was the fourth time this season the Panthers have beaten the Sea Eagles.
Sea Eagles Coach David Heath and his men can be very proud of their season as they were the first team from the club to contest the Holden Cup Grand Final since the National Youth Competition’s inception in 2008.
The match also brought an end to Heath’s reign as Head Coach with Chad Randall in charge of the Sea Eagles next season.
The Panthers opened the scoring in the third minute when hooker Soni Luke dummied to the right before crashing over from dummy half. Winger Dylan Edwards converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles had their first real chance to score in the 10th minute but winger Jesse Bogle went into touch just metres short of the line.
The Panthers went to a 10-0 lead when five-eighth Tyrone May put his head down to crash over in the right corner. Edwards converted for a 12-0 lead after 15 minutes.
A lovely short ball from five-eighth Will Pearsall saw Trbojevic hit a gap to score next to the posts. Hooker Hugh Pratt converted to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 12-6 after 25 minutes.
Some poor defence by the Sea Eagles two minutes later saw Penrith centre Robert Jennings scored his team’s third try for a 16-6 lead. The try was not converted.
The Sea Eagles got back into the game when on the last tackle, a desperate pass from Pearsall found second-rower Luke Garner, who just split the defence open to score a fine solo try next to the posts. Pratt converted to leave Manly Warringah trailing 16-12 after 37 minutes.
The Sea Eagles had a try disallowed to Trbojevic in the 48th minute after a tough judge put his flag up to say winger Mitch Thomas put his foot on line before throwing an inside pass to the full-back.
Penrith extended their lead to 20-12 in the 51st when centre Maliko Filino finished off a backline play to score in the right corner. Edwards converted the try from the sideline for a 22-12 lead.
With the heat really affecting the bigger forwards, Penrith extended the lead to 26-12 when half-back Jarome Luai weaved his way through some tired defenders to score a fine solo try. Edwards converted for a 28-12 lead after 61 minutes.
Prop Liam Knight got the Sea Eagles back to 28-16 when he crossed next to the posts. Pratt converted to leave the side trailing 28-18 with seven minutes remaining.
The Panthers secured victory when winger Fuimanu Enese scored in the right corner in the 77th minute. Edwards converted the try for the 34-18 scoreline.