Some strong leadership and calmness under pressure saw the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles open their Harold Matthews season with a victory on Saturday.
Captain and hooker Daniel O’Donnell (pictured right) and vice-captain and half-back Teddy Wilson (left) scored a try each in Manly’s 28-22 victory over Canberra Raiders in Belconnen. Wilson also kicked four goals from as many attempts.
The Sea Eagles led 12-10 at half-time before overcoming a Raiders comeback to pile on the points late to record a good win in the U16s competition.
Sea Eagles Coach John Michael praised the leadership of O’Donnell and Wilson, saying it was a key to victory.
“We were down by six points with 12 minutes to go and Daniel and Teddy kept us composed,’’ Michael added.
“Canberra had just scored two tries and because of their composure, we scored three tries in the next eight minutes. Daniel led us very well as captain.”
Michael said he was fairly happy with the first up effort considering there were plenty of nerves early in the match.
“It was the first time that these players had stepped up into the junior representative arena. They were proud to represent Manly at that next level as they move forward in their league careers,’’ he said.
“What really pleased me was the boys tried to implement what they learnt at training rather than going back into their old habits. The talk was very good.”
Manly now play Newcastle Knights at St Johns Oval, Charlestown, on Saturday, February 16. Kick-off is 12pm.
Harold Matthews Rd 1
Sea Eagles 28 (Thomas Wheen, Teddy Wilson, Daniel O’Donnell, Konisi Vosaicake, Oscar Palin tries; Wilson 4 goals) d Canberra 22 (Matthew Stewart 2, Jahream Lole-Ngarima, Kane Rushton tries Wheeler 2, Stewart 1 goal).