Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 28-20 loss to the St George-Illawarra Dragons at Lottoland today in round three of the NSWRL Jersey Flegg Cup.
In a hard fought match, the Sea Eagles opened the scoring in the fifth minute through winger Raymond Vaega. It all came from a long run from second-rower Jayson Smith who passed inside to five-eighth Jamie Lawler who put a kick through for Vaega to score. Captain and half-back Zane Harris failed to convert from the sideline.
The Dragons capitalised on a forward pass error by Manly to hit back four minutes later when five-eighth Sam Hooper darted over from dummy half. Hooker Connor Muhleisen converted for a 6-4 lead.
Lawler put the Sea Eagles back in front when he simply dived through a massive hole from dummy half to score under the posts. Harris converted for a 10-6 lead with nine minutes remaining before half-time.
The Sea Eagles allowed the Dragons back in the game again through a drop ball. A few plays later, Hooper and full-back Treigh Stewart combined to send winger Billy Hayburn over in the corner. Muhleisen failed to convert from the sideline for a 10-all scoreline with five minutes remaining before half-time.
Manly hit back well when centre Daniel Ala held up a well-timed pass to draws in two defenders to pop a pass for winger Dane Oostendorp-Power to score. Lawler failed to convert the try after the half-time siren for a 14-10 lead at the break.
The Sea Eagles got off to a perfect start in the second half when full-back Keegan Turner split the defence to race 50 metres downfield to send Lawler over for his second try. Harris converted for a 20-10 lead after 37 minutes.
A missed tackle saw the Dragons reply quickly through a try to Hayden Budd next to the posts. Muhleisen converted for a 20-16 scoreline after 45 minutes.
The Dragons drew level when Harris Georgopoulous found a gap to race away to score next to the posts. Muhleisen converted for a 22-20 lead with 18 minutes remaining.
The visitors took a 26-20 lead when centre James Schiller stole the ball from a high bomb taken by Vaega to score in the corner. Muhleisen converted from the sideline for a 28-20 lead with six minutes remaining.
The Sea Eagles will be looking to record their first win of the season when they take on Penrith at Lottoland on Saturday, April 3, at midday.