Competition - NRL Premiership

Round - Round 01

Teams – Manly Sea Eagles v Bulldogs

Date – 4th or March 2016

Venue – Brookvale Oval, Sydney NSW

Photographer – Grant Trouville

Description – #HistoryHappens

Blake Leary knows there is only one thing to do when you are dropped from the NRL side.

To accept the decision and keep working hard.

“There is no need to go around sulking, you have to get on with the job, and try to work your way back into the first grade side,’’ Leary said.

The talented back-rower did just that, and more at Belmore Sports Ground, on Saturday, in just his second game in the Intrust Super Premiership after playing in Manly’s NRL team in round one.

Leary scored two tries in helping Manly to record their first win of the season in any senior grade in downing the Bulldogs 26-24 in round three of the Intrust Super Premiership.

His first try came on the left edge whilst the second, and most crucial, saw him pounce on an Api Koroisau grubber kick in the 79th minute to level the scores at 24-all. It was then left for hooker Hugh Pratt to kick the winning goal.

The come from behind win was a complete turnaround after a disappointing 28-0 loss the week before to Wentworthville.

“It was good to get the monkey off the back. It is nice to finally get the big ‘W’ next to the Manly name,’’ Leary said.

“We haven’t played our best footy in the past couple of weeks. There is still plenty to improve on, but we just dug deep for each other.

“For the calibre of a side we have with so much experience and depth, we shouldn’t be losing at all (in the Intrust competition), yet alone a 28-0 deficit.

“It was good to get that win and hopefully it will kick start our season.”

Leary’s performance saw him named ‘Players Player’. More importantly, it will apply added pressure to the forwards in the NRL side.

Two back injuries at different stages last season saw Leary reduced to just 13 games in his first year for the Sea Eagles.

“My body is feeling a lot better now and the back has healed from last year,’’ Leary said.

“At the moment, I am just focusing on a big season irrespective of what grade I play.”

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