Manly Warringah Sea Eagles lost 10-9 to Parramatta Eels at Pirtek Stadium tonight in round 22 of the Telstra Premiership.
The Sea Eagles went into the game on the back of four straight wins and sitting in 11th position on 20 points, just one win behind three teams locked on 22 points. Manly will now need to win all four remaining matches and hope results go their way.
Prop Nate Myles (knee) and hooker Matt Parcell (hamstring) dropped off the extended bench from the team named on Tuesday.
In a fiery match between the arch rivals, the Eels opened the scoring when winger Bevan French put through a grubber kick to regather to score after Manly failed to contest a crossfield bomb that landed in the arms of Parramatta centre Brad Takairangai. Full-back Michael Gordon converted for a 6-0 lead after eight minutes.
French thought he scored his second try in the 20th minute when trying to ground the ball from a Jeff Robson grubber kick. The referee awarded a try but the NRL Bunker ruled no try after replays showed he didn’t control the ball.
Manly hooker Api Koroisau showed his strength when he spun and turned in a tackle to score under the posts from dummy half in the 37th minute. Five-eighth Dylan Walker converted for a 6-all scoreline.
The Sea Eagles took a 7-6 lead into half-time when half-back Daly Cherry-Evans popped a field goal inside the final five seconds of the first half from 18 metres out.
Parramatta had a try disallowed to Clint Gutherson for obstruction in the 48th minute. The referee ruled try but the NRL Bunker overruled it after replays showed Michael Jennings had run in to Lewis Brown.
Manly prop Josh Starling was placed on report in the 50th minute after a high shot on Eels second-rower Tepai Moeroa after he dropped the ball. Gordon converted a penalty goal from 22 metres out for an 8-7 lead.
The Sea Eagles regained the lead in the 57th minute through a Walker penalty goal next to the posts for a 9-8 scoreline.
Gordon then converted a penalty goal in the 78th minute for the 10-9 lead after the referee ruled a late shoulder charge hit by Martin Taupau forced the ball loose from the Eels.
Earlier tonight, Manly suffered a 24-10 loss to Parramatta in the Holden Cup.
The Eels led 12-0 at half-time before jumping out to a 24-0 lead. Manly scored two late tries through winger Lucas Price, and a conversion from five-eighth Nicholas Hynes.
The Sea Eagles play Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium next Thursday night.