Manly snatch late victory over Bulldogs

Caption: Hugh Pratt on the attack for the Sea Eagles at Belmore Sports Ground today.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded an exciting 26-24 come from behind victory over Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Belmore Sports Ground today in the Intrust Super Premiership competition.

It was the first win for Coach Luke Williamson and his team after three rounds of the competition, and also the first for the Sea Eagles Club in the senior grades.

The Sea Eagles trailed 10-4 at half-time before running down the Bulldogs on their home turf with a try to lock Blake Leary inside the final minute, converted by hooker turned five-eighth Hugh Pratt.

The match was transferred from Brookvale Oval to Belmore on Thursday in order to protect the playing surface for Monday night’s NRL match against the Cronulla Sutherland Sharks.

Several changes were made to the Sea Eagles side with winger Brayden Wiliame, hooker Apisai Koroisau, and second-rower Nathan Green dropped from the NRL side named on Tuesday.

The Bulldogs opened the scoring through a try to winger Jarrod McInally after catching the Sea Eagles short in defence on the left side for a 4-0 lead.

The Sea Eagles hit back when Leary crossed on the left edge for a 4-all scoreline before the home side took an 8-4 lead with a try to five-eighth Matt Frawley. Centre Kerrod Holland converted for a 10-4 lead to the Bulldogs at half-time.

Second half

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-4 with a try to winger Tyrone Phillips. The Sea Eagles hit back quickly when forward Addin Fonua-Blake made a long range run to offload a one handed pass for winger Fabian Goddall to score under the posts for a 14-10 scoreline.

Frawley grabbed his second try after a starting a movement down the left flank. Holland converted for a 20-10 scoreline.

The Sea Eagles hit back with a try to half-back Pita Godinet under the posts for a 20-16 scoreline before hooker Api Koroisau darted from dummy half to score one of his trademark tries for a 20-all scoreline after 68 minutes.

The Bulldogs looked to have secured victory in the 75th minute when centre Reubenn Rennie scored for a 24-20 lead after half Dane Chisholm elected to run the ball after originally setting up for a field goal shot. Holland failed to convert from sideline.

The Sea Eagles then snatched victory when Leary pounced on a grubber kick from Koroisau at dummy half for a 24-all scoreline. Pratt then calmly converted the goal from close range to give the Sea Eagles the 26-24 victory.

Manly's best were Leary, Koroisau and Fonua-Blake.

Manly Sea Eagles

1 Ben Fritz 2 Halauafa Lavaka 21 Nathan Green 4 Tony Satini 22 Brayden Wiliame 9 Hugh Pratt 7 Pita Godinet 17 Addin Fonua Blake 18 Api Koroisau 10 Darcy Lussick, 16 Luke Burgess 12 Jamie Buhrer 13 Blake Leary; interchange: 14 Daniel Vasek, 15 Dylan Kelly, 5 Fabian Goodall, 23 James Tuitahi.