Great start...Brian Kelly crosses for his first try in his NRL debut for the Sea Eagles at Lottoland today. Photo: NRL Photos
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 20-12 loss to Parramatta Eels at Lottoland today in the opening round of the Telstra Premiership.
The match marked the NRL debut of centre Brian Kelly with fellow new signings Akuila Uate, Blake Green, Curtis Sironen and Lloyd Perrett all making their club debut for the Sea Eagles in front of a crowd of 11,318.
Kelly couldn’t have wished for a better start to his NRL career when he broke the line to score in the sixth minute. Centre Dylan Walker converted for a 6-0 lead.
The Eels drew level through a converted try to half-back Corey Norman from a grubber kick before the visitors took an 8-6 lead through a penalty goal to five-eighth Clinton Gutherson from next to the posts.
A miracle pass saw Eels full-back Bevan French push his way over the line to score. Gutherson converted for a 14-6 lead.
The Sea Eagles attacked the Eels line in the final stages of the first half but could not cross over to leave the visitors with an eight point lead at half-time.
Gutherson extended the lead to 18-6 when he brushed off two defenders to score out wide. He then converted a penalty goal for a 20-6 scoreline with 15 minutes remaining.
Green brushed off two defenders to score near the posts in the 76th minute. Walker converted to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 20-12.
The Sea Eagles return to Lottoland on Saturday, March 11, at 5.30pm to play South Sydney Rabbitohs.