Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 16-8 loss to Penith Panthers at Pepper Stadium tonight in round 18 of the Telstra Premiership.
The Sea Eagles were on the end of a heavy 14-4 penalty count with the Panthers dominating possession and control of the game on the back of it.
In the only change to the Manly team named on Tuesday, Shaun Lane replaced Jarrad Kennedy with Brad Parker coming off the reserves bench to the interchange bench.
Penrith prop James Tamou opened the scoring with a try under the posts. Nathan Cleary converted for a 6-0 lead after four minutes.
The Sea Eagles hit back when a lovely short pass from Daly Cherry-Evans put centre Dylan Walker over out wide for a try. Walker failed to convert his own try to leave Manly trailing 6-4 after 13 minutes.
The Panthers camped themselves inside Manly’s quarter for a series of attacking raids but the defence held firm.
The defensive wall was broken in the 35th minute when a crossfield kick by half-back Nathan Cleary saw winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak leap above Matthew Wright to score. Cleary converted for a 12-4 lead after 37 minutes.
A nice flick pass back inside by second-rower Shaun Lane saw Tom Trbojevic dive over for Manly. Hooker Api Koroisau’s attempt from out wide hit the upright for a 14-8 scoreline after 48 minutes.
The loss ended a five game winning streak for the Sea Eagles and sees them slip from third to fourth place.
Manly play Wests Tigers at Lottoland next Sunday, July 16.