Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 35-10 loss to St George-Illawarra Dragons at Lottoland today in round six of the Telstra Premiership.
The loss ended a three game winning streak for the Sea Eagles to leave Trent Barrett’s men with three wins from six matches.
In front of their biggest home crowd of the season and against the second-placed Dragons, the Sea Eagles suffered a setback before the game when winger Akuila Uate suffered a hamstring injury in the warm up.
Matthew Wright was called into the side after playing centre in Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles’ first win of the season in the Intrust Super Premiership match beforehand.
The Dragons opened the scoring in the third minute when five-eighth Gareth Widdop picked the ball up from a play the ball by Wright to dive over in the left corner. Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans protested about being held off the ball in trying to get there but the try was awarded for a 4-0 lead.
The visitors went to a 10-0 lead when centre Euan Aitken crossed over near the posts to leave the home side stunned after 10 minutes.
Aitken grabbed his second try when he stepped past opposite centre Brian Kelly to race 30 metres to score in the corner. Widdop converted for a 16-0 lead after 19 minutes.
The Sea Eagles got a much needed try in the 38th minute when a cut out pass from full-back Tom Trbojevic saw winger Jorge Taufua get down low to beat two defenders to score. Walker converted from the sideline to leave Manly trailing 16-6 at break.
A break up the middle by Dragons half-back Josh McCrone saw him send Jack de Belin over for a try early in the second half. Widdop converted for a 22-6 lead after 48 minutes.
Widdop then converted a penalty goal for a 24-6 scoreline before winger Kurt Mann dived over in the left corner for a 28-6 lead after 65 minutes.
Taufua then grabbed his second try when he again got low to beat two defenders to score for a 28-10 scoreline. The try brought up 30,000 points for the Sea Eagles since entering the first grade premiership in 1947.
Widdop then converted a field goal in the 77th minute for a 29-10 lead. The Englishman then managed to get a hand down on the ball from a kick by McCrone to beat Tom Trbojevic to score behind the posts. He then converted the try for a 35-10 scoreine.
Widdop scored 19 of the 35 points alone in the Dragons win.
The Sea Eagles play Melbourne Storm at Lottoland on Saturday, April 15, at 3pm.