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Sea Eagles suffer heart-breaking loss to Tigers

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a heart-breaking 34-32 loss to the Wests Tigers at Lottoland tonight in round 17 of the Telstra Premiership. 

The match saw the NRL debut of Josh Schuster at five-eighth and the club debut of centre Morgan Harper. Hooker Danny Levi played his 100th NRL game.

Nineteen-year-old Schuster is a product of the successful Sea Eagles Elite Pathways program after first joining Manly at age 14.

The Sea Eagles made sure 22 year-old Harper celebrated early too when he crossed for the opening try out wide in the third minute. Half-back Daly Cherry-Evans failed to convert the try.

Harper almost had a double five minutes later but was held up over the line by some desperate Tigers defence.

Some nice passing by Schuster and Cherry-Evans saw winger Jorge Taufua crash over in the corner for an 8-0 lead after nine minutes. Cherry-Evans failed to convert the try from the sideline.

The Tigers hit back when winger David Nofoaluma scored in the 15th minute from a Benji Marshall grubber kick behind the line. Centre Adam Doueihi converted from the sideline for an 8-6 scoreline.

The Sea Eagles responded in a perfect way when second-rower Jack Gosiewski swooped on a Cherry-Evans grubber kick to score next to the posts. Cherry-Evans converted for a 14-6 lead after 20 minutes.

Full-back Tevita Funa then threw a dummy and stepped back inside to cross next to the posts in the 27th minute. Cherry-Evans converted for a 20-6 lead.

Four minutes later, Taufua left the field. He was later diagnosed with a calf injury.

Nofoaluma grabbed his second try with three minutes remaining when he stepped his way past three defenders to score next to the posts from a loose pass. Doueihi converted for a 20-12 scoreline.

The Tigers reduced the margin to four in the 54th minute when full-back Moses Mbye crossed out wide. Doueihi converted for a 20-18 scoreline after 55 minutes.

A superb ball by prop Martin Taupau saw lock Jake Trbojevic hit a hole to score next to the posts. Cherry-Evans converted to give Manly a 26-18 lead after 59 minutes.

Harper then celebrated his second try after being on the end of a superb pass from Cherry-Evans. The half-back converted for a 32-18 lead after 67 minutes.

Doueihi pulled the margin back a little when he crossed for a try in the left corner two minutes later. He converted his own try for a 32-24 scoreline with nine minutes remaining.

Nofoaluma grabbed his second career hat-trick when he dived over with seven minutes remaining. Doueihi failed to convert the try for a 32-28 scoreline.

Doueihi then scored off a crossfield kick by Luke Brooks to score next to the posts for a 32-all scoreline. He converted his own try for a 34-32 lead with just over a minute remaining.

The loss was Manly's sixth consecutive defeat and leaves them in 12th place on 12 points

The Sea Eagles now play the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium next Friday night.



Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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