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Gallant Sea Eagles go down 13-12 to Broncos

A gallant second half comeback from the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles wasn't enough to get the two competition points in Magic Round, going down 13-12 to the Brisbane Broncos tonight. 

In front of a sold out crowd of 50,971 at Suncorp Stadium, the Sea Eagles trailed 12-0 at half-time after playing with 12 men for 10 minutes following the sin-binning of prop Taniela Paseka for a professional foul. 

The Sea Eagles were boosted by the return of powerful second-rower Haumole Olakau'atu following a two week suspension. Full-back Tolu Koula played his 50th NRL match.

The match also marked the final game of a long commercial deal struck in 2015 with Suncorp Stadium to take their home games against Brisbane from Brookvale Oval to the Broncos' traditional home ground.

A drop ball from a fifth tackle kick by Koula resulted in the Broncos scoring from the next set of six from the scrum win for a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes through second-rower Brendan Piakura.

With Paseka then sin binned, the Broncos capitalised on the extra space with a try to winger Deine Mariner in the next set for a 12-0 lead in as many minutes.

Manly had a half a chance tryscoring opportunity when second-rower Ben Trbojevic reached out to pull in a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber kick only for the ball to come loose.

Half a chance,...Ben Trbojevic tries to pull in a DCE grubber kick to score
Half a chance,...Ben Trbojevic tries to pull in a DCE grubber kick to score ©NRL Photos

The Sea Eagles dug deep to keep the Broncos out to trail 12-0 at half-time, finishing the first half with a 76 per cent completion rate and 53% possession.

Manly were rewarded for some tough perseverance early in the second half with a try to centre Reuben Garrick off a short pass from Haumole Olakau'atu for a 12-6 scoreline after 50 minutes.

With 12 minutes remaining, Garrick made a break downfield and tried to kick inside for Cherry-Evans but the ball went into touch.

Winger Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega then dived over in the corner with Garrick converting from the sideline for a 12-all scoreline with eight minutes left.

Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega celebrates his try
Raymond Tuaimalo Vaega celebrates his try ©NRL Photos

Brisbane half-back Jock Madden landed a field goal three minutes later for a 13-12 lead after Manly winger Jaxson Paulo was earlier penalised for a high tackle.

The Sea Eagles return to 4 Pines Park next Friday night to tackle the Melbourne Storm at 8pm.




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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