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Gallant Sea Eagles fight to the end in loss to Tigers

A gallant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 30-24 loss to the Wests Tigers in a fiery Jersey Flegg match at 4 Pines Park today.

In a game that saw the lead change several times, the Sea Eagles showed plenty of spirit after having second-rower Siua Fotu sent off in the first half.

A mistake from the Tigers on their own ten from a kick resulted in the first try after  four minutes. Manly winger Sanele Aukusitino scored in the corner after the ball was shifted to the right with centre Jason Smyth delivering a well timed pass to send him over. Halfback Jamie Humphreys converted from the sideline for a 6-0 lead.

Manly winger Sanele Aukusitino has scored four tries in his last two games.
Manly winger Sanele Aukusitino has scored four tries in his last two games. ©NRL Photos

The Sea Eagles had their second try seven minutes later through winger Cameron Brown. Humphreys took the ball from 15 metres out and placed a looping kick in the left corner, sitting perfectly for Brown who leapt high to score. Humphreys again converted from the sideline for a 12-0 lead.

Manly then lost Fotu in the 17th minute before the Tigers crossed through second-rower Finnley Neilsen for a 12-4 scoreline.

Despite being a man down, the Sea Eagles replied almost instantly with a try from prop Viliami Fifita who crashed over a handful of defenders next to the post. Humphreys converted for an 18-4 lead.

A fight then erupted with Fifita and Jackson Owen were then sent to the sin-bin following a scuffle after a dangerous tackle, leaving Manly with 11 players temporarily. 

Man short...Siua Fotu gets his marching orders
Man short...Siua Fotu gets his marching orders ©NRL Photos

The Tigers scored a runaway try with two minutes remaining in the half through winger Jay Kirk after a mistake from the Sea Eagles near the halfway line for an 18-10 scoreline at half-time.

The Tigers were in again six minutes after half-time through Jahream Bula for an 18-14 scoreline.

Minutes later, the Tigers were in again after a try from lock James Valevatu to make 18-all after 44 minutes.

The extra man advantage was seeming to work in favour of the away side, as the Tigers had their third try in eight minutes . Hill successfully converted, giving his side a 24-18 lead with under 20 minutes to play.

Sea Eagles five-eighth Flynn Angles-Corke scored a stunning try in the 57th minute as he dummied the ball out right before stepping back in on the inside, racing past a handful of defenders to dive over next to the posts. Humphreys converted for a 24-all scoreline.

Hard worker...prop James Uesele had another solid game for the Sea Eagles
Hard worker...prop James Uesele had another solid game for the Sea Eagles ©NRL Photos

The Tigers regained the lead four minutes later thanks to a try under the posts from forward Samuel Kamu. Hill converted for a 30-24 lead.

Manly lock Zac Fulton then made a chance from nothing and streaked down the right wing with just over three minutes of play remaining, only to be dragged down 40 metres out from the Tigers line. The Sea Eagles threw all they had in that set but were unfortunately held up metres from the line, resulting in a turnover.

With all Jersey Flegg sides having a bye in Round 10 next week, the Sea Eagles next play the Parramatta Eels at Ringrose Park on Saturday May 21 at 3pm.

Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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