Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded their fifth consecutive win with a hard fought 26-22 victory over the Warriors at nib Stadium, Perth today.
In a match played in wet conditions for the second consecutive year as a Manly home match, the Sea Eagles overcame an early 16-0 deficit to draw level at half-time.
The Sea Eagles then hit the front before holding off a late challenge with some determined defence to take the vital two competition points to sit in third place after 17 rounds of the Telstra Premiership.
Manly are on 24 points equal with second-placed Cronulla and fourth-placed Sydney Roosters. Melbourne Storm sit on top with 28 points.
It is the first time Manly has won five straight victories since 2013.
The Warriors opened the scoring when second-rower Bodene Thompson was put through a gap between Blake Green and Brian Kelly to score. Shaun Johnson converted for a 6-0 lead after five minutes.
The visitors went to a 10-0 lead two minutes later when Johnson hit a gap to leave Kelly backpedalling for winger Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad to score. Johnson failed to convert the try.
A grubber kick by five-eighth Kieran Foran saw full-back Roger Tuivasa-Sheck score next to the posts. Johnson converted for a 16-0 lead to the Warriors after 18 minutes.
Manly got on the board when hooker Api Koroisau split the defence to find open space before sending full-back Tom Trbojevic to the tryline untouched to score. Winger Matthew Wright converted to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 16-6 after 24 minutes.
The Sea Eagles went back to back when centre Brian Kelly broke the defence to race 30 metres to link up with Tom Trbojevic before the full-back sent the ball back inside for Kelly to score under the posts. Wright converted to leave Manly trailing 16-12 after 29 minutes.
Some smart work from dummy half by centre Dylan Walker saw Cherry-Evans split the defence to race downfield before sending winger Akuila Uate over with 30seconds left on the clock. Wright failed to convert the try for a 16-all scoreline at half-time in heavy rain.
The Sea Eagles took the lead for the first time when five-eighth Blake Green put Tom Trbojevic through a hole to score his second try with Addin Fonua-Blake running as a decoy. Wright converted for a 22-16 lead after 48 minutes.
Eleven minutes later, Walker extended Manly’s lead to 26-16 when he finished off a backline play to score from 10 metres out. Wright failed to convert the try from out wide.
Nicoll-Klokstad pulled the Warriors back into contention when he scored his second try out wide. Johnson converted the try for a 26-22 scoreline with 15 minutes remaining.
Johnson produced a bagful of tricks inside the final five minutes to get the Warriors home but the Sea Eagles stood strong in defence to claim victory. The Warruors are yet to win in Perth in nine matches.
The Sea Eagles have now won 22 of 30 matches against the Warriors.
Manly play Penrith at Pepper Stadium next Saturday, July 8, at 5.30pm.
Earlier today, Manly beat the Warriors 58-12 at Lottoland in the Holden Cup.