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Sea Eagles return to winners list with crushing victory

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles ran rampant against the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to snap a three-game losing streak with a commanding 42-24 win at Accor Stadium this afternoon.

Following tight losses to the Sydney Roosters, Panthers and Warriors in recent weeks, the Sea Eagles were out for vengeance after having their finals chances dashed last week.

The Sea Eagles ran in seven tries to four to record their first win at Homebush  since 2020, and only the second time since 2013.

Jason Saab crossed for two tries with Toafofoa Sipley, Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega, Haumole Olakau’atu,Daly Cherry-Evans and Lachlan Croker also crossing for a try each.

Match Highlights: Bulldogs v Sea Eagles

Cherry-Evans was as influential as ever, finishing the match with a try, six conversions, eight tackle breaks and a try assist. The halfback turned back the clock with a stunning effort from the halfway line to score. 

A feature of the match was Gordon Chan Kum Tong making his NRL debut. The 21-year-old hooker, who has been with the club since the age of 15, came onto the field in the 30th minute as Sea Eagle #649. The hooker went on to play 32 minutes and even converted a penalty goal in the 76th minute after a nice gesture by DCE.

Hooker Gordon Chan Kum delivered some crisp service in his NRL debut against the Bulldogs.
Hooker Gordon Chan Kum delivered some crisp service in his NRL debut against the Bulldogs. ©NRL Photos

The Bulldogs scored after four minutes through Corey Waddell, with the second-rower being set up by winger Blake Wilson with a draw-and-pass to send him over. Five-eighth Matt Burton converted for an early 6-0 lead. 

Manly were on the back foot and were forced to scramble on their own tryline. Canterbury hooker Reed Mahoney looked to be over for his side's second try in the ninth minute, only to be denied with a strong tackle at the line that forced the ball loose for an error. 

The Sea Eagles bounced back and scored in the 16th minute through Saab after a well-worked build up. Cherry-Evans and Olakau’atu each had a hand in the play before fullback Tolutau Koula threw a perfectly timed short ball to Saab to send him into space. Cherry-Evans converted from the sideline to level the score at six-all.  

Manly thought they had their second in the space of five minutes after Koula broke through the line to get the ball down. Unfortunately, the try was overturned due to an obstruction call.

Round 26: Post Match Press Conference

Croker kicked his side into optimal field position with an inch-perfect 40/20, leading to a try for Sipley in the 23rd minute. The forward ran a perfect line, taking a pass from Croker off the ruck to find a hole in the defence and score. Cherry-Evans converted from next to the posts to take a 12-6 lead.  

Manly winger Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega scored on the stroke of half-time with a strong run, burrowing underneath the opposing defender to ground the ball in the corner for his first try in the NRL. A missed conversion attempt from the sideline left the Sea Eagles with a ten-point lead heading into the break. 

The Sea Eagles took seven minutes into the second half to score their fourth try through Olakau’atu. The second-rower ran a sharp line off a pass from Cherry-Evans and went over untouched for his ninth try of the year. Cherry-Evans converted to take the lead to 22-6. 

Toff Sipley dives over for a well deserved try in the win over the Bulldogs.
Toff Sipley dives over for a well deserved try in the win over the Bulldogs. ©NRL Photos

Cherry-Evans found himself on the scoresheet with a spectacular solo effort for a try in the 54th minute. The captain ducked out of dummy half with the ball and fooled the marker with a dummy before racing 45 metres downfield to score next to the post. He converted his own try for a 28-6 scoreline. 

The Bulldogs capitalised on an error from the Sea Eagles and scored five minutes later through centre Jake Averillo. Burton converted to bring the score to 28-12.  

Croker saw the defence lacking and made them pay with a try in the 64th minute for Manly. The hooker scooted out of dummy half and wrestled out of a tackle to score the side's sixth try of the afternoon. Cherry-Evans converted to extend the lead to 34-12. 

The Sea Eagles began to pile on the points with a try only two minutes later for Saab. Olakau’atu popped an inside ball to Koula at their own 30 metre line and the fullback found himself in open space. With just the fullback to beat, Koula passed to Saab who strolled over for his second of the day. Cherry-Efans converted to take the lead to 40-12.  

Cherry-Evans had a try overturned by the Bunker in the 70th minute and the Bulldogs gave their fans something to cheer for with the result too far out of reach. Utility Kyle Flanagan and halfback Toby Sexton scored in the 71st and 73rd minute respectively for a 40-24 scoreline.  

The Sea Eagles were awarded a penalty at Canterbury’s ten-metre line with four minutes to play and chose to take the shot at two points. Chan Kum Tong was handed the tee and successfully converted for a final scoreline of 42-24.  

The Sea Eagles head back to 4 Pines Park next week for their final match of the 2023 season, taking on the Wests Tigers on Friday September 1 at 6pm.

The match marks Jake Trbojevic’s 200th career NRL game. 

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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