Manly Warringah Sea Eagles lost 28-20 to North Queensland Cowboys at 1300Smiles Stadium tonight in the Holden Cup
Both teams went into the match undefeated.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring when a crossfield bomb on the last tackle by half-back Manase Fainu saw centre Tevita Funa leap high to take the ball to score for a 4-0 lead after 12 minutes.
Manly had plenty of chances inside the Cowboys quarter but some poor options denied them the chance to extend their lead.
The Cowboys drew level when Jack Glossop crashed through three defenders to score near the posts. Half-back Jake Clifford converted for a 6-4 lead after 28 minutes.
The home side went to a 12-4 lead through a converted try to second-rower Hiale Roycroft after he crashed over next to the posts.
The Sea Eagles went into half-time trailing 12-10 after full-back Luke Polselli stepped inside the defence to score out wide off a backline play. Trey Brown converted the try.
A try to Fainu saw the Sea Eagles lead 14-12 before two unconverted tries to centre Enari Tuala saw the Cowboys go to a 20-14 lead.
A penalty goal to the Cowboys gave them a 22-14 lead before a converted try to lock Jesse Martin left Manly trailing 22-20 with five minutes remaining.
A drop ball by Manly five metres out from the Cowboys line saw them pick the ball up score a length of the field converted try for a 28-20 victory.
Manly Holden Cup team
1 Luke Polselli 2 Bilal Maarbani 3 Tevita Funa 4 Blake Andrews 5 Alfred Smalley 6 Tom Wright 7 Manase Fainu 8 Jaiden Tarrant 22 John Neil 15 Joseph Ma’u 13 Jesse Martin 12 Josh Martin 9 Cade Cust (C); Interchange: 11 Haumole Olakau’atu, 14 Trey Brown, 16 Elia Faatui, 17 Amoni Tufui