Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have been eliminated from the SG Ball finals following a heart-breaking 40-36 loss to Canberra Raiders at Lottoland today.
Under Coach Brett Fulton, the Sea Eagles finished the regular season in seventh place with Canberra finishing sixth. Both teams went into the match with five wins from nine games.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring in the ninth minute when prop Keith Titmuss muscled his way over the line. Winger Roland Podesta converted the try.
Canberra levelled the scores at 6-all in the ninth minute with a converted try to lock Matthew Dragisic under the posts.
Manly regained the lead when winger Roland Podesta scored in the left corner for a 10-6 lead before Canberra centre Harley Smith-Shields beat two defenders to score in the 20th minute. Jordan Little converted the try for a 12-10 lead.
Manly hit back a minute later when second-rower Joshua Schuster crossed in the corner for a 14-12 scoreline.
Canberra took an 18-14 lead into half-time with a second try to Dragisic next to the posts two minutes before the break.
The Raiders went to a 22-14 lead when Little hit a hole to score out wide.
A great inside ball from half-back Hyrum Wichmann put prop Sean Vaivelata into a gap to score next to the posts. Podesta converted the try to leave Manly trailing 22-20 with 28 minutes to go.
A great flick pass by full-back Keegan Turner saw Filimaua Filimaua-Tau cross for Manly’s second try within two minutes for a 24-22 lead. Podesta converted the try for a 26-22 lead.
The Raiders drew level two minutes later when Maleke Morris scored next next to the posts. Little converted for a 28-26 lead to the visitors.
Canberra went to a 32-26 lead when Kali Taiseni crashed over under the posts. Little converted for a 34-26 lead with 18 minutes remaining.
The Sea Eagles got back to 34-32 when five-eighth Jamie Lawler scored from a magical chip and chase by back-rower Joshua Schuster who also delivered a no look pass.
A grubber kick from Lawler saw the ball deflect off a Canberra defender for the five-eighth to score his second try a minute later. Podesta converted the try for a 36-34 lead with seven minutes remaining.
The Raiders had a chance to equalise from a penalty attempt but the ball hit the posts for Manly to regather with four minutes remaining.
Canberra prop Benjamin Nanesa used his strength to plant the ball down with a minute remaining for a 38-36 lead. The try was converted for a 40-36 victory.