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A gallant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 34-30 loss to Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium today in round 16 of the Holden Cup competition.

Fresh from a 15 try haul in the previous week’s 84-6 victory over Wests Tigers, the second placed Sharks started the game strongly to take a 10 point lead into half-time before a late rally in the second half by Manly.

It was the Sharks’ eighth consecutive victory since recording a draw in round seven. The loss leaves Manly in sixth place on 18 competition points.

Cronulla opened the scoring with a converted try after half-back Kyle Flanagan picked up a loose ball to score. He converted his own try from in front for a 6-0 lead after five minutes.

The home side jumped to a 10-0 lead when prop Ryan King crashed through several defenders to score. Flanagan converted for a 12-0 lead after 12 minutes.

A break from winger Sione Kata sent Flanagan over under the posts for his second try. The half-back converted for an 18-0 lead before Manly opened their account when hard-working captain Jesse Martin ran a good line to score. Winger Jade Anderson failed to convert the try to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 18-8 after 25 minutes.

Six minutes later, some clever footwork by full-back Luke Polselli saw the Sea Eagles grab their second try. Anderson’s conversion hit the upright for an 18-12 scoreline after 32 minutes.

A grubber kick in the 39th minute by Cronulla full-back William Kennedy saw Katoa score for a 22-12 lead at half-time after Flanagan missed his first conversion attempt of the match.

It was a good fight back from the young Sea Eagles after letting in three early tries.

Second Half

The Sea Eagles started the second half off on the perfect note when a brilliant bomb by five-eighth Tom Wright for hooker Manase Fainu to score. Anderson converted his first goal of the game to leave Manly trailing 22-18 after 46 minutes.

Cronulla hit back five minutes later when centre Isaac Lumelume crossed. Flanagan converted for a 28-18 lead to the home side.

A nice show and go from dummy half by Fainu saw him dive over. Anderson converted to leave Manly trailing 28-24 with 17 minutes remaining.

Some tough calls against the Sea Eagles gave the Sharks quality field position to allow hooker Blayke Brailey to score. Flanagan converted for a 34-24 lead after 75 minutes.

Four minutes later, Manase scored under the post. Anderson converted for a 34-30 scoreline. 

Wright made a break inside the final minute for Manly before being pulled down with the Sharks claiming the two points.

Sea Eagles Holden Cup team

1 Luke Polselli, 2 Jade Anderson, 3 Brad Parker, 4 Blake Andrews, 5 Alfred Smalley, 6 Tom Wright, 7 Cade Cust, 8 Jaiden Tarrant, 9 Manase Fainu, 10 Taniela Paseka, 14 Haumole Olakauátu, 12 Josh Martin, 13 Jesse Martin (C); Interchange: 15 Elia Faatui, 16 Zaan Weatherall, 17 John Tuivati, 18 Kaine McQuiggin. Coach: Wayne Lambkin

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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