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Sea Eagles beat Sharks in Jersey Flegg thriller

A strong self belief to keep fighting has seen the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles record a thrilling 27-26 victory over Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in round 10 of the Jersey Flegg Cup today.

In the first of three matches on Mother’s Day at HE Laybutt Field, Blacktown, the Sea Eagles were forced to fight back on several occasions after being down 16-12 at the break. 

Two quick tries in the second half handed Manly a tidy eight-point lead but that didn’t stop the Sharks as they quickly regained control.

Manly converted a penalty goal late in the match to level  and with three minutes remaining, kicked a field goal to walk away with their fifth victory. 

The Sea Eagles had to reshuffle their side on several occasions in what proved to be a tough encounter. Full-back Aymn Hamilton was forced from the field in the sixth minute with an injury and second-rower Broden Konz was sent to the sin-bin with six minutes to play.

Kallum Weatherall-Stacey, who was listed on the wing but finished the game at full-back, kicked the match-winning field goal with three minutes to play.

It was a complete turnaround for the Sea Eagles after losing 30-10 to the Sharks only three weeks ago.

Cronulla jumped to a 12-0 lead after nine minutes through tries to five-eighth Taj Ford and winger Siteni Taukamo 

Manly forward Carsen Patu found himself in space with a barnstorming run in the 14th minute, using his speed to beat the fullback to cross for a 12-6 scoreline.

Carsen Patu takes on the Sharks defence at Blacktown today
Carsen Patu takes on the Sharks defence at Blacktown today ©Bryden Sharp Photography

Taukamo scored his second try in the 20th minute to push the Sharks lead out to 16-6 before Sea Eagles lock Nicholas Lenaz chased hard to score off a grubber kick to leave Manly trailing 16-12.

An error from the kick-off by Cronulla gifted Manly a try one minute into the second half through second-rower Broden Konz before another quick try to prop Devante Mihinui off a grubber kick saw the Sea Eagles lead 24-16. 

Cronulla hit back with two quick tries within four minutes to trail 26-24 before Weatherall-Stacey converted a penalty goal from 20 metres out to level the scores at 26-all with 11 minutes to play. 

The Sea Eagles were forced to dig deep for the final portion of the game when second-rower Broden Konz was sent to the sin-bin with seven minutes remaining. 

Simione Laiafi takes on the Sharks at Blacktown today
Simione Laiafi takes on the Sharks at Blacktown today ©Bryden Sharp Photography

A knock-on from the Sharks at their own 40-metre line gifted the home side a chance to seal the match with three minutes to play. 

After a smart offload from halfback Tylor Bunting, Weatherall-Stacey kicked the match-winning field goal in the 67th minute from 15 metres out for a final scoreline of 27-26.  

The Sea Eagles now take on the Penrith Panthers in the washout catch up game at Aubrey Keech Reserve, Hinchinbrook, on Saturday, May 18, at 11am.

Sea Eagles 27 (Tries: Patu 14’, Lenaz 26’, Konz 36’, Mihinui 42’. Goals: Weatherall-Stacey 5/5, Weatherall-Stacey FG 67’) d Sharks 26 (Tries: Ford 1’, Taukamo 7’, 20’, 46’, Ison 50’. Goals: Dixon 3/5) 

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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