Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 21-20 loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium today in round 17 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 13, 434, the Sea Eagles trailed 18-6 at half-time and fought back well in the second half before a late field goal from Adam Reynolds saw the Rabbitohs get home.
Manly half-back Daly Cherry-Evans and lock Jake Trbojevic backed up from Wednesday night’s Origin match but the Sea Eagles rested full-back Tom Trbojevic. He was replaced by Brendan Elliot with Lachlan Croker coming into the team.
The Sea Eagles started strongly with Cherry-Evans getting back-to-back sets off some smart kicks in the opening minutes.
Manly received an early defensive test from Souths in the seventh minute with Elliot holding up winger Campbell Graham over the line.
After being denied a try due obstruction, Souths opened the scoring through a penalty goal to Adam Reynolds in the 16th minute for a 2-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles opened their account when five-eighth Cade Cust stayed alive to back up a behind the back flick pass from Daly Cherry-Evans after good work by centre Moses Suli. Winger Reuben Garrick converted for a 6-2 lead after 20 minutes.
Souths hit back to level through a try to second-rower Dean Britt in the 24th minute. Reynolds converted to give Souths an 8-6 lead after 26 minutes.
The Rabbitohs went to a 12-6 lead in the 36th minute when winger Dane Gagai dived over in the right corner. Reynolds failed to convert the try.
Souths extended their lead to 16-6 40 seconds from half-time when Graham dived over in the corner off a Cody Walker pass. Reynolds converted from the sidelines for an 18-6 lead at half-time.
The Sea Eagles started the second half perfectly when second-rower Curtis Sironen ran off a short ball from Cherry-Evans to score out wide for an 18-10 scoreline after 43 minutes. Garrick failed to convert the try.
A 75 metre run from centre Moses Suli got the Sea Eagles back in the game when he raced away to score in the corner. Garrick failed to convert the try for an 18-14 scoreline after 50 minutes.
A penalty goal to Reynolds in the 56th minute stretched Souths lead to 20-14.
The Sea Eagles were denied a try two minutes later when the bunker ruled Cust didn't ground the ball cleanly over the line.
The Sea Eagles got back to 20-18 when second-rower Joel Thompson scored off a Cherry-Evans grubber kick that bounced off a Souths player. It came off the back off a superb run downfield by Sironen with Martin Taupau tackled 10 metres out. Garrick converted for a 20-all scoreline with seven minutes remaining.
Souths regained the lead when Reynolds kicked a field goal with five minutes remaining for a 21-20 lead.