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The Manly Sea Eagles have taken advantage of Canberra's ill-discipline as they took a 24-20 victory over the Canberra Raiders in front of a healthy Brookvale crowd.
The start of the game couldn't have been better for the Green Machine with Jack Wighton running in two tries within the first ten minutes. The first came when he spotted a gap in the defensive line and ran for 35 metres untouched to score his first. The second was just as easy as the Raiders spun the ball out to the left before darting back inside and finding Wighton who crossed the line.
The 20-minute-mark saw a switch in momentum with the Raiders losing Jordan Rapana to a rib injury and then back to back penalties against them saw Manly knocking on the door. The Sea Eagles cracked the line open and it was Marty Taupau who crashed over to open their scoring for the afternoon. Canberra did add a penalty goal to go eight points up late in the half, but in the dying seconds before the siren, Lachlan Croker was able to get a try against his old club when he was on the end of a good pass from Brad Parker, the centre slicing through down the left and found Croker again, who scored. At half time, the Sea Eagles trailed by just two.
The second half performance from Canberra would've left Ricky Stuart absolutely fuming, as mistakes crept into their game and their discipline was completely non-existent. Manly took the lead for the first time in the match 15 minutes into the second half when Lachlan Croker scored his second after Jake Trbojevic double pumped and drew in the Raiders' defence before finding Croker who scored.
The Sea Eagles added another quick try as the Sea Eagles used the pressure they had built to find Reuben Garrick down the blind side to score a try and push the lead out to 22-14. The most impressive part of Manly's second half effort for these two tries was that captain Daly Cherry-Evans had to leave the field with an ankle injury.
Manly then added a penalty goal with 5 minutes left to play to lead 24-14, and Canberra opened up the possibility of a grandstand finish when Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad scored after some excellent work from John Bateman to keep the ball alive and narrow the gap to 24-20 inside the final minute.
The Raiders couldn't go the 100m required in the last 50 seconds and the Sea Eagles took the victory.
Next weekend, the Manly Sea Eagles play host to the Canterbury Bulldogs at Brookvale, whilst the Canberra Raiders take their home game to Wagga Wagga when they host the Penrith Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 - Canberra Raiders 20
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 12 Canberra Raiders 14
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Lachlan Croker
2 points - Martin Taupau
1 points - Manase Fainu
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (24)
Tries: Martin Taupau, Lachlan Croker (2), Reuben Garrick
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (2/2), Reuben Garrick (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Reuben Garrick (1/1)
CANBERRA RAIDERS (20)
Tries: Jack Wighton (2), Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (1/1)