Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ended a six game losing streak with a 32-20 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium tonight in round 18 of the Telstra Premiership.
It was Manly's first win since the round 11 win over the Cowboys on July 24 and was a fine way to bring up two time premiership winning Coach Des Hasler's 250th game as coach of the Sea Eagles.
In front of a crowd of 2151, the Bulldogs opened the scoring in the fifth minute when second-rower Matt Doorey dived over from an offload by five-eighth Jake Averillo. Winger Nick Meaney converted for a 6-0 lead.
Meaney converted a penalty goal from close range three minutes later for an 8-0 lead after 10 minutes.
Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles had half a tryscoring opportunity with 18 minutes remaining in the first half but half-back Daly Cherry-Evans was pulled down 10 metres from the line after a break by Morgan Harper.
Five minutes later, Meaney converted a penalty goal from 28 metres out for a 10-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles got on the board when giant prop Taniela Paseka (below) showed his pace to beat the defence after charging onto a pass from a free running Cherry-Evans to score in the 30th minute. Cherry-Evans converted to leave Manly trailing 10-6.
Cherry-Evans then had a major hand in Manly’s second try when he found open space to put a kick through for second-rower Curtis Sironen to score out wide for a 10-all scoreline after 36 minutes. The try was not converted by Cherry-Evans.
Manly scored their third try when centre Brad Parker ran into a hole to score out wide in the 40th minute. Cherry-Evans converted to give the Sea Eagles a 16-10 lead at half-time.
The Sea Eagles started the second half perfectly when second-rower Jack Gosiewski broke through a tackle to score out wide in the 43rd minute. Cherry-Evans converted the try for a 22-10 lead. Two minutes later, Gosiewski left the field for a HIA test after making a tackle.
The Bulldogs hit back to trail 22-16 after Meaney converted a try to Lincoln Lewis next to the posts in the 52nd minute.
The Sea Eagles replied perfectly when former Bulldogs player Harper found some open space to show his pace to score his third try in two games for Manly. Cherry-Evans failed to convert for a 26-16 lead after 53 minutes.
Sea Eagles prop Martin Taupau then showed his skills when he put a short grubber kick through to regather to score next to the posts in the 68th minute. Cherry-Evans converted for a 32-16 lead.
The Bulldogs scored through winger Jayden Okunbor in the 75th minute to get back to 32-20 but the Sea Eagles dug deep to claim the much needed victory.
Manly now play the Gold Coast Titans at Lottoland next Saturday in the final home game of the season.