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Sea Eagles go down to Sharks in NRL trial

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 28-16 loss to Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in an NRL trial at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium tonight.

In their only pre-season trial, the Sea Eagles rested the likes of Daly Cherry-Evans, Dylan Walker, Tom Trbojevic and Reuben Garrick for the trial and giving several young players a chance in the top grade hit out.

The Sea Eagles came close to scoring in the ninth minute but prop Toafofoa Sipley was held up over the line next to the posts.

It was Cronulla who opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Connor Tracey finished off a break by Jack Williams to score next to the posts.  Chad Townsend converted for a 6-0 lead.

Manly half-back Cade Cust produced a superb left foot kick to produce a 40/20 two minutes later but any advantage the Sea Eagles had was lost when a pass from full-back Luke Metcalf floated forward to winger Tevita Funa.

Hooker Danny Levi (below) got the Sea Eagles on the board when he darted over from dummy half seven minutes from half-time. Funa converted from in front of the posts for a 6-all scoreline.

The Sharks scored their second try when centre Josh Morris scored out wide off a deflected kick in the final seconds before the break. Townsend failed to convert the try to leave Cronulla with a 10-6 lead at half-time.

Manly started the second half by using rising youngsters Josh Schuster, Keith Titmuss, and Alec Tuitavake and giving some of the senior players such as Joel Thompson, Curtis Sironen and Martin Taupau a rest.

The Sharks went to a 14-6 lead three minutes into the second half when forward Toby Rudolf charged over next to the posts. Townsend converted for a 16-6 lead.

Manly prop Zac Saddler left the field two minutes later with a leg injury.

The Sea Eagles hit back in the 57th minute when winger Abbas Miski finished off a nice play by Josh Schuster to score in the corner. Dylan Phythian failed to convert the try for a 16-10 scoreline.

Cronulla prop Franklin Pele crashed over next to the posts in the 59th minute. The try was converted for a 22-10 lead.

Manly second-rower Haumole Olakau'atu was rewarded for staying alive in a play when he managed to score out wide after picking up a deflection off a grubber kick. Funa converted the try for a 22-16 scoreline with 10 minutes remaining.

Cronulla then scored with four minutes remaining through a try to Connor Tracey. The try was converted by Mawene Hiromi for a 28-16 lead.

The Sea Eagles had prop Zac Saddler and Edwin Ipape leave the field in the second half through injury. 

Manly team

1 Luke Metcalf, 14 Brendan Elliot, 3 Brad Parker, 4 Moses Suli, 5 Tevita Funa, 6 Lachlan Croker, 7 Cade Cust, 8 Toafofoa Sipley, 9 Danny Levi, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Sean Keppie; interchange: 15 Abbas Miski, 16 Josh Schuster, 17 Haumole Olakau'atu, 18 Zac Saddler, 19 Zach Dockar-Clay, 20 Dane Aukafolau, 21 Keith Titmuss, 22 Alec Tuitavake, 23 Edwin Ipape, 24 Sam Manuleleau, 25 Reed Izzard, 28 Dylan Phythian, 29 Alfred Smalley