Caption: Rhys Armstrong collides with the Mounties defence at GIO Stadium today. Photo: NRL Photos.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 36-32 loss to Mounties in round seven of the Intrust Super Premiership at GIO Stadium today.
Premiership favourites Mounties scored five tries in the first half with goal-kicking Maurice Kennedy converting every try before the Sea Eagles ran rampant late to set up a thrilling finish.
Centre Brayden Wiliame scored a double for the Sea Eagles to take his personal tally to six tries in the past two games to warrant NRL selection on the wing following the injury to Jorge Taufua.
Mounties opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Mitchell Barnett crashed through the tackle of Pita Godinet and Dylan Kelly to score next to the posts. Maurice Kennedy converted for a 6-0 lead.
Some desperate tryline defence by Manly was wasted when second-rower Jarrad Kennedy pounced on a short kick to score on the last tackle. Kennedy converts from the sideline for 12-0 lead to Mounties after 15 minutes.
Two minutes later, the Mounties capitalised on errors again by Manly for winger Kato Ottio to score in the right corner. Kennedy converted for an 18-0 lead after 19 minutes.
Manly missed a tryscoring opportunity when centre Ben Fritz couldn’t offload a pass to unmarked winger Brad Parker in the 21st minute.
It became 24-0 after 32 minutes when prop Clay Preist crashed over for a converted try next to the posts.
Centre Brenko Lee gave Mounties a 30-0 lead at half-time with a converted try in the 39th minute after he scored from his own grubber kick.
Mounties scored an 80 metre try through Jarrad Kennedy in the opening minutes of the second half after Manly allow the ball to bounce from their own bomb. Maurice Kennedy converted for a 36-0 lead after 36 minutes.
The home side then lost five-eighth Lachlan Croker in the 46th minute after being taken from the field on the medicab.
The Sea Eagles got on the board when centre Brayden Wiliame placed his hands on a grubber kick from hooker Hugh Pratt at dummy half to score. Pratt converted the try to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 36-6 after 57 minutes.
Wiliame scored his second try three minutes later when he crashed through the defence out wide to score his sixth try in the last two games. Pratt failed to convert for a 36-10 scoreline.
The Sea Eagles then put back to back tries to full-back Peter Schuster and winger James Tuitahi to trail 36-20 after 69 minutes.
Two more converted tries inside the final 10 minutes to Pita Godinet and a second to Tuitahi saw the Sea Eagles get back to 36-32 but time beat them in the end. It was an amazing comeback by the Sea Eagles following a disappointing first half performance.
Sea Eagles team
1 Peter Schuster, 13 Brad Parker, 3 Brayden Wiliame, 4 Ben Fritz, 5 James Tuitahi, 19 Feleti Mateo, 7 Pita Godinet, 8 Luke Burgess, 9 Hugh Pratt, 17 Fabian Goodall, 11 Nathan Green, 12 Dylan Kelly, 15 Rhys Armstrong; Interchange: 14 Daniel Vasek, 16 Jordan Sims, 2 Halaufu Lavaka, 21 Tony Satini