A gallant second half comeback saw the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles record a tough 16-6 victory over the Western Suburbs Magpies at Lottoland today.
The round four SG Ball Cup match was a real arm wrestle with victory secured late in the match. The win keeps the Sea Eagles undefeated with two victories and a draw from their three matches.
After a slow start to the game, Manly centre Simon Tito and winger Cameron Brown nearly combined in the 11th minute on the left edge but were denied after a forward pass call.
The Magpies continued applying the pressure and were rewarded with a try in the 16th minute to centre Alexander Soakai off a cut-out pass from halfback Joshua Parke. Five-eighth Donovan Boney converted to make the score 6-0.
Manly hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong was then held up over the line five minutes later before the Sea Eagles had another near miss with winger Tom Jarrett taken over the sideline in a diving effort.
Off the back of a lucky deflection and a penalty in Manly’s territory, the Magpies continued the pressure but were denied through some great defence.
The Sea Eagles were then dealt a major blow when their inspirational captain Chan Kum Tong left the field with a right shoulder injury with 15 minutes remaining in the half.
On the 30-minute mark, the Sea Eagles were nearly rewarded for their hard work through the crafty footwork of Humphreys but were denied on a shepherd call. Wests took a 6-0 lead into half-time.
The Sea Eagles got back into the game when hooker Daniel O’Donnell dived over from dummy half to score under the posts. It came on the back off a barnstorming run by prop Seturi Iakopo who was pulled down near the line. Humphreys converted to level the game at 6-all.
In quick succession, O’Donnell offloaded to prop James Uesele who then popped the ball back inside to full-back Krystian Mapapalangi to take the lead minutes later. Humpreys converted the kick from in front to give Manly a 12-6 lead.
Some strong Manly defence on their own line followed by a breakaway run from O’Donnell resulted in a near try, but the Magpies smothered an attempted pass 30 metres out to regain possession.
The Sea Eagles had another good opportunity in the 54th minute with a cut-out pass from five-eighth Kobe Fulton to the left edge followed by a quick tip on to Brown. The Magpies managed to hold on to force an error.
A great 60 metre run by winger Cameron Brown saw him pulled down 10 metres out. The ball was shifted to the right edge for winger Tom Jarrett to score an end-to-end try. Humphreys missed the conversion from the sideline for a 16-6 scoreline.
Manly meet the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Lottoland in Round 5 at 11.30am next Saturday, March 6, hoping to continue their strong start to the season.