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Manly record back-to-back wins in Harold Matthews

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles made it two wins from two after an impressive 24-6 victory over the South Sydney Rabbitohs in round three of the UNE Harold Matthews Cup today.

After getting off to a flying start, the Sea Eagles ran in four tries to one with three of them coming in the second half. 

It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, with both teams struggling to hold onto the ball and maintain possession in the heat at Redfern Oval.

Manly Coach Jordan Meredith was happy with his side's attitude and resilience, noting that the team had developed as a whole to perform for one another. 

“We had a really positive week at training but it didn't exactly lead into a good performance here today,'' Meredith said.

"But from where we’ve come from to get a victory (against a top four opposition) and to only concede one try is rewarding for their efforts and attitudes towards their football.

"I'm happy with our effort and application and the love they share for each other. "

Manly half-back Beau Alexander fooled defenders with a silky step 10 metres out from the line to score under the posts in the second minute. Second-rower Beau McKee converted for an early 6-0 lead. 

Following the try, the game’s tempo slowed down as both sides struggled to hold onto the ball, with much of the possession played deep down in Manly’s territory. During this time, the home side had a try overturned after the referee ruled a forward pass.

South Sydney blew a certain try after second-rower Lochlin Moses dropped the ball metres out from the line after finding a gap in the defence. 

Going well...the Sea Eagles walk back after scoring one of their four tries
Going well...the Sea Eagles walk back after scoring one of their four tries ©Ricky Newell

A double knock-on in front of the Rabbitohs’ tryline gifted the Sea Eagles one last chance before the break, to no avail as the scrambled effort ended in the hands of the home team. The sides went into the sheds with Manly maintaining their six-point lead. 

After having a try denied moments earlier, Manly fullback Reilly Caswell finally had his moment with a try in the 35th minute after running off a perfectly-timed short ball from five-eighth Max Davies to race away for a 40 metre try for a 12-0 lead.

Rabbitohs utility Cody Hill then scooped the ball out of dummy half and burrowed underneath the defence to score in the 42nd minute to leave the home side trailing 12-6.

In a moment of individual brilliance, the Sea Eagles had their third try in the 48th minute through Davies. The nimble five-eighth stepped and chipped to regather to score under the posts for an 18-6 lead.

After forcing a drop-out with some valiant defence, Alexander grabbed his second try in the 55th minute with a classic dummy for a final scoreline of 24-6. 

Sea Eagles 24 (tries: Alexander 2’, Caswell 35’, Davies 48’, Alexander 55’. McKee 4/4 goals) def. Rabbitohs 6 (Tries: Hill 42’. Berryman-Duff 1/1 goal). Redfern Oval, Harold Matthews Cup Round 3 

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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