The South Sydney Rabbitohs have gone down to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in a tough encounter at Gosford this evening (Friday) in front of 15.120 Members and supporters.
In a performance that bore little resemblance to the side’s opening round effort against the Roosters, Manly held on to take the game and the two competition points with a Jamie Lyon penalty-goal the difference.
To see the post-match press conference, please click here.
To see Ben Te'o's post-match reaction, please click here.
To see Michael Maguire's post-match reaction, please click here.
To see all the match highlights, please click here.
The Rabbitohs went on the attack early after some brilliant defence on the first tackle saw Manly spill the ball, much to the appreciation of Souths fans. But with the red and greens pushing the ball wide to take advantage of an overlap, the ball hit the turf before being reclaimed by the Sea Eagles.
A penalty to Manly deep in their own half allowed Daly Cherry Evans to boot the ball within striking distance, with Cheyse Blair capitalising for the home-side out wide with a four-pointer. Jamie Lyon missed the conversion to make it 4-0 in the Sea Eagles’ favour.
The Rabbitohs enjoyed a number of opportunities on the Manly try-line, but came up short on all occasions – the home-side thwarting each attacking raid early in the tackle-count.
Manly came close to scoring again just over half-way through the first period – the video-referee denying Jamie Lyon a four-pointer for a knock-on from a Kieran Foran kick.
A penalty to the Sea Eagles within kicking distance gave Jamie Lyon the opportunity to get his side two points further ahead, the skipper calmly adding the points from close-range to make it 6-0 with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.
But a penalty to Souths after an Anthony Watmough swinging arm on Bryson Goodwin put the Rabbitohs squarely back in the match – Sam Burgess bursting through the maroon and white line from inside five metres to score the sides opening try of the match. Adam Reynolds’ conversion attempt hit the upright, taking the sides into the sheds with Manly leading 6-4.
The Rabbitohs were the first to score after half-time when Beau Champion broke through the Manly line on the back of a slick back-line movement. Reynolds atoned for his miss by converting from out wide for the Rabbitohs to take the lead 10-6. Reynolds would get the opportunity to give the red and greens a six point buffer shortly afterward with a penalty goal from right in front.
Issac Luke tried to assert his authority on the Manly attack when the Kiwi international put a massive hit on Sea Eagles winger Blair – the winger taking the full brunt of Luke’s fury.
But it was Manly who did the asserting when Jamie Buhrer broke through before drawing Greg Inglis and passing to Daly Cherry-Evans who scored under the sticks to make it 12 apiece with Lyon’s conversion.
With the clock winding down and the threat of golden point looming, both sides traded attempts at field-goal with Reynolds missing the Rabbitohs’ attempt from 30 metres out.
At four minutes left, the Sea Eagles turned defence into attack by intercepting a pass on a promising Rabbitohs raid. The Sea Eagles were chased down, but It got worse for the red and greens, being penalised for holding down allowing Jamie Lyon a penalty goal to take the lead.
Souths got the ball back from the ensuing kick-off and looked to score through Joe Picker, but the video referee disagreed, ending the match at 14-12.
Sea Eagles 12 (Cheyse Blair, Daly Cherry-Evans tries; Jamie Lyon 3 goals)
Rabbitohs 14 (Sam Burgess, Beau Champion tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)