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2 days ago
Having had to travel to Perth in recent years to take on Manly, Christchurch has proven a good change for the Warriors as they put on a show for the Christchurch locals running out 34-14 winners in front of 17,000 fans at AMI Stadium.
The New Zealand Warriors started the game poorly when Shaun Johnson's first kick of the game went out on the full. Manly looked to be on from the get go after Api Koroisau dived over from dummy half after Manly had three sets of six on the Warriors line.
The Warriors came back into the game but they soon fell further behind after the Sea Eagles elected to take a penalty goal after the Warriors gave away three penalties on their own line.
The catalyst for the momentum swing in the match was evident when the Manly kick chase defence was invisible and Ken Maumalo charged his way through some flimsy defence to get easily up over halfway and be tackled just 35m from the Manly line after picking it up from inside his own 10m. The charge from Kata wasn't in vain after the Manly defence was again nowhere to be seen when Isaiah Papalii strolled through off a lovely short ball from Blake Green.
Manly were in all sorts after the momentum shift and the Warriors were taking advantage of the Manly fragility and yet again it was Blake Green who showed his hand when he ran to the line before finding Tohu Harris with another lovely short ball to score and after Johnson converted it was 12-8. Questions need to be asked about the Manly frame of mind as they slipped behind with both DCE and Trent Hodkinson looking to put the ball into touch every time they got down in the Warriors half no matter their field position and the momentum they had in the set.
The second half was the Fusitua and Johnson and it was shown just three minutes into the second half when David Fusitua backed up a big run from Ken Maumalo the play before to race 60m before finding Shaun Johnson who had a try in his 150th NRL game. The Warriors began to dominate and as the Warriors dominated the negative tactics of the Sea Eagles were on show and to back it up the awful kicking game of Manly was benefiting the Warriors.
The Warriors crossed through Simon Mannering only to have it called back for an incorrect play the ball penalty against the Warriors, this was only a temporary blip for the Warriors because just five minutes later they put on one of the tries of the season when Issac Luke ran out of dummy half before finding a flying Shaun Johnson who then capped it off with an inside ball back to Fusitua. The Fus then added a second try five minutes later getting a great touch down in the corner before completing his 9 minute hatrick chasing through a Shaun Johnson kick that was fumbled by Akila Uate.
Manly added a consolation try with just over five minutes to go when the scrambling play finally came up with points when Brian Kelly forced his way to the line and reached out to slam the ball down.
Things don't get any easier for Manly in their return to Australia with an away game against the Dragons next week and the Panthers the week after meanwhile the Warriors don't have an easy trip when they have to travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys in the 6pm game in Townsville.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 14 - Warriors 34
Venue: AMI Stadium
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 8 Warriors 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Shaun Johnson
2 points - David Fusitua
1 points - Blake Green
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (14)
Tries: Apisai Koroisau, Brian Kelly
Conversions: Trent Hodkinson (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Trent Hodkinson (1/1)
Tries: Isaiah Papalii, Shaun Johnson, Tohu Harris, David Fusitua (3)
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (5/6)