You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Sea Eagles Fall Short after Second Half Comeback in SG Ball Cup

A second half resurgence wasn’t enough for two competitions as the Sea Eagles slipped to a 28-20 defeat against the Cronulla Sharks in Round Four of the UNE SG Ball Cup at 4 Pines Park on Saturday afternoon. 

Cronulla raced out to a 20-0 lead at the break and all hope seemed lost. Despite the deficit, the Sea Eagles didn’t back down and came out of the gates flying with all four of their tries coming in a ten-minute period from the 42nd minute.  
It wasn’t enough for their first win of the season as the visitors went on to score the winning try with six minutes to play before sealing it with a penalty goal moments before the fulltime siren. 

The Sharks opened the scoring after five minutes of play through William Saunders. The hooker burrowed underneath the defenders and pushed through to ground the ball for the opening try. Halfback Bryce Sait converted from next to the posts for a six-point lead.

As the rain picked up, so did the points as the visitors continued to build momentum. Cronulla winger Richard Whalebone bagged two tries in a three-minute period thanks to some good shifts in play as the visitors pushed their lead out to 14-0 with 12 minutes played.

The challenge for the remainder of the second half was holding onto the ball as both sides struggled in the wet conditions. The Sharks held most of the possession as the Sea Eagles proved to be their own worst enemy, with mistakes in their own territory putting them on the back foot. Cronulla forward Manako Piutau scored on

he stroke of halftime after following up on a bobbling grubber kick that Manly weren’t able to take, allowing for Piutau to dive over next to the posts. Sait converted for a 20-0 scoreline at the break.  

The Sea Eagles got their first points on the board in the 43rd minute after a smart grubber kick through the defensive line sat up perfectly for centre Matari Donovan, allowing him to ground the ball untouched and cutting the deficit to 16 points. The try came after seven minutes of countless pressure and a few chances that unfortunately weren’tcaptialised on partially due to the slippery conditions.

Manly were finding their rhythm and had their second try in five minutes after a smart play from Alton Naiyep. The winger filled in at dummy half and used his strength and determination to scoop the ball off the ground and burrow underneath the defence to ground the ball over the line, taking the score to 20-8.  
Momentum shifted completely in favour of the home side has they stormed downfield to score their third try in the 51st minute. Prop Simione Laiafi barged over next to the posts, beating four defenders in the process, to lift Manly into contention for the match. Halfback Callum Dowell converted from close range for a 20-14 scoreline.

The Sea Eagles were soaring and hit the Sharks while they were down with a phenomenal try from the kick-off. Five-eighth Finnian Walsh caught the ball and skipped past the chasing defenders to find himself racing down the sideline. With one defender chasing, Walsh threw a dummy pass to fool the Sharks player before diving over in the corner for a try. Dowell nailed the conversion from the sideline to level the score at 20-all with 16 minutes to play.

With just over ten minutes to go, both sides were trading blows as they pushed for the lead, with the next try potentially sealing the match.

Cronulla regained the lead with five and a half minutes left with a well-placed crossfield kick landing in the hands of centre Michael Gabrael, who wrestled out of a tackle to groudn the ball for a try. Sait converted for a 26-20 scoreline.

A late penalty in front of Manly’s tryline all but sealed the match as Cronulla were awarded a penalty 20 metres out. Donovan was sent to the sin-bin as Sait converted from in front for a final scoreline of 28-20 in favour of the Sharks.

Manly travel to the Hunter Region as they face the Newcastle Knights in Round Five on Saturday March 2, 3pm, at Kurri Kurri Sports Ground 

Sharks 28 (Tries: Saunders 5’, Whalebone 9’, 12’, Piutau 33’, Gabrael 64’. Sait 4/7 goals) def. Sea Eagles 20 (Tries: Donovan 42’, Naiyep 47’, Laiafi 51’, Walsh 52’. Dowell 2/4 goals) 

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.

Major Partner

Premier Partners

Senior Partners

View All Partners