Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a hard fought 24-12 victory over the North Queensland Cowboys in Townsville tonight in round 11 of the Telstra Premiership.
The match marked the first interstate trip for the Sea Eagles this season who travelled up from Sydney on game day as part of the new NRL protocols.
The Sea Eagles made one change to the interchange bench with Corey Waddell replacing Sean Keppie while prop Addin Fonua-Blake made a welcome return from a two game suspension.
Manly started the game strongly and were camped inside the Cowboys’ quarter through two line drop outs. The Sea Eagles were rewarded when second-rower Curtis Sironen scored off a pass from half-back Daly Cherry-Evans. Reuben Garrick converted from close range for a 6-0 lead after eight minutes.
Match Highlights: Cowboys v Sea Eagles
After soaking up some pressure and forcing the Cowboys into mistakes, the Sea Eagles went to a 10-0 lead when hooker Danny Levi burrowed his way over from dummy half to score next to the posts. Garrick converted for a 12-0 lead after 27 minutes.
The Sea Eagles were denied a try to back-rower Jack Gosiewski in the 32nd minute when the video bunker ruled he was held up despite the initial referee’s call of a try.
Two minutes later, the Cowboys targeted winger Jorge Taufua with winger Kyle Feldt leaping above his opposite to catch the ball to score out wide. Feldt converts his own try for a 12-6 scoreline with four minutes remaining to half-time.
The Cowboys were denied a try four minutes after half-time when forward Gavin Cooper was held up under the posts.
A nice break by five-eighth Cade Cust off a quick dummy half dart by Lachlan Croker saw Cust pop a short pass to Cherry-Evans who showed great strength to get the ball down under the posts as the Cowboys tried to hold him up. Garrick converted the try for an 18-6 lead after 59 minutes.
The Cowboys bombed a certain try with 14 minutes remaining when forward Coen Hess failed to ground the ball from a grubber kick with the tryline open.
The Sea Eagles punished the Cowboys for the missed opportunity when Cust showed and go from dummy half to score next to the posts. Garrick converted for a 24-6 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
A minute later, the Cowboys got back to 24-12 when Feldt converted a try next to the posts to prop Francis Molo.
The Sea Eagles dug deep in defence to keep the Cowboys at bay in the final 10 minutes to record their sixth win of the season to sit inside the top eight.
Manly play the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland next Saturday night.