Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have secured a place in the Holden Cup finals despite losing 26-10 to Penrith Panthers at Lottoland today.
The loss leaves Manly in seventh place on 30 points but could slip to eighth place if the 10th placed Knights (29 points) beat minor premiers Cronulla Sharks tomorrow.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring in the third minute when centre Tevita Funa crashed over out wide. Funa failed to convert his own try for a 4-0 lead.
A nice chip kick and regather by winger Daine Laurie saw him plant the ball down with one hand to score in the right corner. Half-back Dean Blore failed to convert try from the sideline for a 4-all scoreline after 11 minutes.
Manly prop Taniela Paseka then left the field through injury before lock and captain Jesse Martin was placed on report for a lifting tackle on Penrith centre Jesse Abbott.
The Sea Eagles went to an 8-4 lead when Cade Cust scored next to the posts in the 20th minute. Funa converted for a 10-4 lead.
Laurie scored his second try when he took a crossfield kick to score for a 10-8 scoreline.
Penrith took a 12-8 lead into half-time when Caleb Aekins scored in the left corner.
The Panthers dominated the second half to race to a 28-10 lead after 68 minutes through a third to Laurie, a second to Aekins, and a try to second-rower J’maine Hopgood.
A field goal by Blore in the dying seconds made it 29-10.