Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have been eliminated from the NSWRL Harold Matthews semi-finals after losing 44-6 to Penrith Panthers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium at Kogarah this afternoon.
The Sea Eagles finished the regular season in third place with seven wins from eight matches with Penrith in sixth place.
Manly went into the elimination semi-final on the back of a 40-18 loss to South Sydney in week one while the Panthers beat Cronulla 40-16 to set up the clash with Manly.
The Sea Eagles have badly missed the services of injured halves Marbam Wichmann and Teddy Wilson in recent weeks with Coach John Michael’s men trying gallantly over the past fortnight to defend the Harold Matthews title the club won last year for the first time.
A large contingent of players from the Manly SG Ball team - who play next Saturday in the preliminary final after having this weekend off - were in attendance for the match and formed a guard of honour for their Harold Matthews team led out by captain Daniel O'Donnell (pictured)
Penrith opened the scoring in the third minute after five-eighth Jake Hay ran off a pass from Half-back Jack Cole. Hay converted the try for a 6-0 lead.
Hay then converted a penalty goal from in front for an 8-0 lead after seven minutes.
The Sea Eagles got on the board when prop La Trell Fonua crashed over next to the posts after Manly decided to run the ball on the last tackle. Centre Oliver Cummins converted for an 8-6 scoreline after 11 minutes.
Two minutes later, Penrith then punished the Sea Eagles for a drop ball in front of their tryline when winger Jimmy Donnelly crossed in the right corner a few plays later for a 12-8 lead.
Penrith went to a 16-8 lead when Sione Neiufi crossed from a long cut out pass in the 22nd minute.
Two minutes later, a kick through from Nicholas Lenaz saw the ball sit up for Hay to score for Hay to score to his second try for a 20-6 lead after 25 minutes.
A break down the right flank saw half-back Jack Cole reach out to score in the 39th minute for a 24-6 lead. Hay converted his own try for a 26-6 lead at half-time.
The score remained that way until Penrith scored under the posts through Byron Ailupotea in the 52nd minute. Hay converted for a 32-6 lead.
Centre Jesse Buchan extended the lead with a try out wide that was converted by Hay for a 38-6 lead with three minutes remaining.
A minute later, second-rower Justice Sene scored in the left corner after backing up a break for the 42-6 scoreline. Hay converted from the sideline for a 44-6 victory.