A frustrating performance saw the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles escape with a 22-all draw against South Sydney Rabbitohs at Redfern Oval today in round two of the NSWRL SG Ball Cup.
Souths opened the scoring in the 10th minute when half-back Joseph Nohra took an intercept pass from opposite half Jamie Humphreys to race 90m to score. The try was not converted for a 4-0 lead.
Some fine goal line defence by Manly kept Souths out in the 15th minute. The fine work was rewarded when second-rower Zane Dunford split the Souths right edge defence to send centre Simon Tito over in the corner. Humphreys failed to convert from the sideline for a 4-all scoreline after 20 minutes.
The Sea Eagles then had a few chances inside Souths quarter but some inpatient play and wrong options allowed the home side off the hook.
Souths took an 8-4 lead in the 31st minute when a drop ball by Manly winger Cameron Brown led to a try to centre Byron Parnell next to the posts. Five-eighth Dion Teaupa converted for a 10-4 lead with seven minutes remaining.
The Sea Eagles got a fortunate bounce through leaping forward Seturi Iakopo from the re-start to go on the attack inside Souths quarter but centre James Malauulu went to ground with the ball with winger Tom Jarrett unmarked on his outside.
The Rabbitohs took a 16-4 lead into half time when booker Romano Cook dived over from dummy half inside the final seconds. Teaupa converted the try.
Like the first half, the frustration for Manly and their supporters continued to grow in the opening 15 minutes as the team missed their opportunities.
Some weak defence on the last tackle saw Souths player Liam Tonpi burrow over from dummy half to score next to the posts in the 45th minute. Teaupa converted for a 22-4 lead .
Manly hit back when Daniel O’Donnell crashed over our wide. Humphreys converted for a 22-10 scoreline after 50 minutes.
The Sea Eagles then produced back to back tries when five-eighth Krystian Mapapalangi got on the outside of the defence to step back inside to score behind the posts. It all came off a great back by lock Jack Gunton from the re-start. Humphreys converted for a 22-16 scoreline with 17 minutes remaining.
Manly drew level at 22-all with four minutes remaining when Humphreys converted a try next to the posts after prop Faafetai Autagavaia carried three defenders over the line in a barnstorming run.
The Sea Eagles had one last chance to snatch victory but a 30 metre field goal attempt by Humphreys swung to the left of the posts.
Although the Sea Eagles snatched a draw, they were fortunate to take home a competition point in a performance that was a far cry from an impressive opening round win over Parramatta last Saturday.
For the Sea Eagles, props Autagavaia and James Uesele again proved a handful with their powerful runs.
Hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong again turned in another inspirational captain’s performance while back-rowers Zane Dunford and Dan Stovold worked tirelessy.
With a bye next week, Coach Brett Fulton will be looking for a much improved performance against Western Suburbs at Lottoland on Saturday, February, 27.