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Sea Eagles lose to Dragons in Wollongong

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 38-12 loss to the St George Illawarra Dragons at WIN Stadium tonight in Round 3 of the NRL Telstra Premiership.

The match marked the 150th game for Manly for Sea Eagles five-eighth Kieran Foran.

The first points of the game came in the seventh minute after Dragons centre Zac Lomax timed his jump perfectly to grab the ball in the air off a Corey Norman kick. Lomax converted his own try for a 6-0 lead.

Manly then travelled downfield and nearly found the line through lock Jake Trbojevic but a dropped ball ended play.

The Dragons could have grabbed their second try in the 22nd minute after Norman made a break 20 metres out from his own line, making it to the centre of the field before failing to find full- back Matthew Dufty who overran the ball.

Dufty made up for his mistake when he scored in the 28th minute off a break by back-rower Tariq Sims. Lomax converted from in front of the posts for a 12-0 lead.

The home side had their third try four minutes later as centre Jack Bird offloaded to winger Cody Ramsey, who stepped off his left foot to crash over the Manly defenders to score. Lomax converted to make the score 18-0.

Match Highlights: Dragons v Sea Eagles

Manly got their first points on the board three minutes before half-time after Foran put a grubber kick through. Dufty tried to force the ball dead but it went into the path of Garrick who scored. The winger converted his own try to leave Manly trailing 18-6 at half-time.

After a back-and-forth opening sequence to the second half, the Dragons tested winger Jason Saab with another high ball in his corner. He collected the ball in the air but wasn’t able to maintain possession as he landed, spilling the ball in front of his own line before the Dragons players swarmed him, knocking the ball on in the process, bringing a double knock-on.

Manly went close as Cherry-Evans managed to force halfback Ben Hunt to ground the ball thanks to a smart grubber kick. A short dropout attempt by the Dragons brought a near chance as Schuster almost slipped away from the defenders, but they were unable to capitalise on this chance.

A late tackle on Hunt from forward Sean Keppie gave the Dragons optimal field possession. Instead of attacking, they chose to attempt for a two-pointer, with Lomax slotting another goal to extend the lead to 20-6.

Manly attempted to get back into the game with countless sets at the Dragons’ line, but were met with a handful of errors and some sloppy play.

A smart outside-inside play from Norman out of dummy-half gave Dufty open space to race away and score his second try in the 67th minute. Lomax converted to make the score 26-6. M

Manly attempted to regain possession off a short kickoff but kicked the ball out on the full, handing the home side another chance.

The Dragons pounced on this opportunity, shifting the ball to the right edge before Hunt grubber kicked through for Lomax to ground the ball to score two minutes later. Lomax converted for a 32-6 scoreline.

The home side went downfield to nearly score again with forward Blake Lawrie finding the line, only to be denied by the video referee.

Round 3: Post Match Press Conference

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Manly replied with a great try six minutes from full-time with a handful of players linking up to score.

After some good work by Foran and Walker, Josh Schuster flicked the ball to Cherry-Evans with a no-look pass, who then dived over to the left of the posts. Garrick converted to make the score 32-12.

St George-Illawarra replied when Brayden Williame running a short ball off Bird to further extend their lead, scoring with three minutes to play. Lomax converted to make the score 38-12. 

Manly now play the Penrith Panthers at Lottoland next Thursday night.