Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 42-24 loss to the Gold Coast Titans at Lottoland today in round 19 of the Telstra Premiership.
The match marked the long awaited return of representative full-back Tom Trbojevic from a hamstring injury, who was naturally rusty at times in his first game back in almost three months.
Unfortunately, Trbojevic suffered a shoulder injury midway through the second half and will now have scans to determine the extent of the injury.
The Sea Eagles got off to a flying start when second-rower Jack Gosiewski (below) hit a hole hard off a Daly Cherry-Evans pass to score out wide in the opening minute. Cherry-Evans converted for a 6-0 lead after three minutes.
Match Highlights: Sea Eagles v Titans
The Sea Eagles hunger in defence was there to see early too when centre Brad Parker made a superb tackle on winger Anthony Don to take him into touch in the 10th minute to stop a possible try.
The Gold Coast got on the board a minute later through a try to Alex Brimson after he received a pass from a quick tap after the Titans defused a bomb in-goal from Lachlan Croker. Five-eighth Ashley Taylor converted for a 6-all scoreline after 13 minutes.
The Titans were denied a try in the 19th minute to centre Young Tonumaipea after he lost control of the ball from a grubber kick.
The visitors were not to be denied when winger Corey Thompson managed to narrowly avoid the sideline to score in the left corner in the 21st minute. Taylor failed to convert the try for a 10-6 lead.
Tonumaipea managed to get his try when he got the ball down after the Titans spread the ball left to score in the 26th minute. Taylor converted the try for a converted the try for a 16-6 lead.
The centre grabbed his second try when he darted from dummy half to race 30 metres to score after Thompson was tackled by Cherry-Evans after he intercepted a pass from the half-back. Taylor converted the try for a 22-6 lead after 33 minutes.
Sea Eagles prop Taniela Paseka then strolled over for his second try in as many weeks when he crossed next to the posts. Cherry-Evans converted to leave Manly trailing 22-12 at half-time.
The Titans went to a 26-12 lead two minutes after half-time through a try to second-rower Sam Stone. It came on the back of a drop ball by Tom Trbojevic just when the full-back was finding open space.
Trbojevic then had a true fitness test when he ran down centre Treymain Spry to ankle tap him in the 48th minute before winger Tevita Funa tackled him to the ground to see the ball planted short of the line. The bunker ruled no try.
The Titans went to a 30-12 lead two minutes later when second-rower Kevin Proctor beat Trbojevic to the ball to score near the posts. Taylor failed to convert the try for a 30-12 lead.
Two minutes later, Brimson showed his pace when he split the defence to score as Trbojevic landed on his right shoulder in attempting to make a tackle. Taylor converted for a 36-12 lead after 53 minutes.
A kick through by Taylor saw Trbojevic spill the ball in reaching out for it only for Spry to catch the ball to score. Taylor converted the try for a 42-12 lead. Trbojevic then left the field after 62 minutes.
Gosiewski then showed his determination to plant the ball down to score his second try a minute later. Cherry-Evans converted the try to leave the Sea Eagles trailing 42-18 after 64 minutes.
A break by Sironen down the right edge saw him send Cherry-Evans to the tryline to score in the 72nd minute. He converted his own try for a 42-24 scoreline.
The Sea Eagles play the Warriors at Central Coast Stadium next Sunday in the final game of the season.