Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a heart-stopping 18-14 win over Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium today in round 23 of the Telstra Premiership.
In front of a crowd of 20, 265, the match was an enthralling contest as both sides battled to secure a place in the top four with Canberra two points ahead of Manly on the kladdbefore today's match.
After a tight arm wrestle early on, the Raiders were denied a try in the 17th minute to five-eighth Jack Wighton after the video referee ruled he lost the ball in scoring.
A minute later, Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker was denied a try on an obstruction call from the referee.
Two minutes later, Canberra opened the scoring when centre and captain Jarrod Croker scored out wide after a pass from Elliott Whitehead. Croker converted his own try for a 6-0 lead after 22 minutes.
Manly came close to scoring in the 27th minute but winger Reuben Garrick lost control of the ball in a tackle by Croker just short of the line.
The Raiders went to an 8-0 lead in the 35th minute when Croker converted a penalty goal from next to the posts after Manly had to soak up relentless pressure on their line.
Manly got on the board in the 38th minute through a penalty goal to Garrick in front of the posts for an 8-2 scoreline.
Garrick then kicked a 44 metre penalty goal after the siren to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 8-4 at half-time.
The Raiders went to a 10-4 lead four minutes into the second half through a Croker penalty goal.
Manly hit back when second-rower Jack Gosiewski took an intercept pass on his line to race downfield to send Garrick over behind the posts. Canberra centre Joey Leilua was placed on report after falling on Garrick with knees to the back. The referee ruled a penalty try with Garrick kicking both goals from in front of the posts to give the Sea Eagles a 12-10 lead after 52 minutes.
Eight minutes later, Manly full-back Tom Trbojevic was denied a try after the video referee over ruled the referee after replays showed he lost the ball in trying to plant it down.
The Sea Eagles went to a 16-10 lead when lock Jake Trbojevic brushed past Canberra prop Josh Papalii to score next to the posts off a flat dummy half pass from hooker Api Koroisau. Garrick converted the try to give Manly an 18-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later, Croker scored out wide off a Jack Wighton break for an 18-14 scoreline. Croker failed to convert his own try to leave the Raiders trailing 18-14 with six minutes remaining.
Manly prop Morgan Boyle was sin-binned with less than two minutes remaining for a professional foul, giving Canberra one last shot inside the Sea Eagles half. The Sea Eagles dug deep to record a well deserved victory.