A hat-trick of tries to exciting young winger Cameron Brown was not enough to get the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles cross the victory line in Penrith on Saturday.
The Sea Eagles suffered a 30-20 loss to the Penrith Panthers in the opening round of the NSWRL Jersey Flegg Cup after trailing 12-10 at half-time.
Manly went into the game missing half-back Jamie Humphreys, second-rower Zane Dunford, and hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong through illness.
Humphreys and Kum Tong are Sea Eagles Development players and spent working the pre-season working on their game with the Manly NRL squad.
The team’s preparation for the match against Penrith was also hampered with the side only managing to train once in the past fortnight due to the wet weather.
Brown scored three of Manly’s four tries with the first coming in just the third minute when he dived over in the left corner after a nice pass from captain Jason Smyth.
His second try in the 21st minute came after the Sea Eagles spread the ball nicely through several hands for Brown to dive over again.
Brown's final try four minutes after half-time came off some nice lead up work by five-eighth Donovan Boney and Smyth. It came on the back of a strong run by forward Seturi Iakopo who was held up over the line by three defenders.
Boney was awarded for his efforts when he backed up a break up the middle by flying full-back Toroa Rapana to score.
A series of errors combined with fatigue due to lack of match fitness proved costly for Manly with Penrith running in six tries in the end.
Sea Eagles lock Oliver Clements had a strong game for Manly with his tireless work rate.
The Sea Eagles will now play the Sydney Roosters at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday, March 20, at 1pm.
Main Photo: Jordon Ovington