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The Canterbury Bulldogs have taken out a thrilling match at Brookvale Oval defeating the Manly Sea Eagles 20-12 in a heated contest in front of 16,820 fans.
It was heated battle from the outset, with Jason King landing a massive hit on Sam Kasiano in the opening minute.
Despite being on top in opening minute and completely out muscling their opposition, the Sea Eagles failed to cross the try line despite two early opportunities.
The Bulldogs were a lot more successful with their early opportunity, with Ben Barba opening up the scoring in the ninth minute, courtesy of a misdirected pass from Jorge Taufua. Krisnan Inu added the extras.
The Bulldogs were over again six minutes later through mid-season recruit Sam Perrett who scored of a perfectly waited cross-field kick from Josh Reynolds. Inu added the extras again.
Both sides had chances to cross the stripe in the remainder of the first half but both defenses were solid and it was 12-0 to Canterbury going into the sheds.
Canterbury increased their lead to 14 with a penalty goal, after Manly conceded a penalty right in front of the sticks, ten metres out.
Manly showed the fight which made them premiers in 2011, Jamie Lyon pouncing on a rare misjudgement by Ben Barba to get a hand on a grubber. The tide had turned and Manly were riding the wave back into the contest.
They added a second try to Jason King after a pass from Anthony Watmough close to the line following a glut of possession. It was 14-12 and the game was back in the balance.
Manly tried everything to crack the Canterbury line but were denied on each occasion despite the Bulldogs tiring and down to two interchange players.
Ben Barba sealed the victory for the visitors and returning coach Des Hasler when he grubbered for himself and took the rebound from the posts, sealing an important and gutsy 20 points to 12 win.
The Bulldogs didn't escape unscathed from the clash, with Sam Kasiano expected to miss a month or more after a cheekbone fracture, while Kris Keating went off late in the first half with a hamstring injury.
Canterbury go to the top of the ladder, albeit temporarily until the Storm play Parramatta tomorrow, and host the Reconciliation Cup next Saturday evening against the Cowboys. The Sea Eagles take their Grand Final re-match against the Warriors across to the western seaboard next Saturday night, with the venue Patersons Stadium at Subiaco in WA.
Manly Sea Eagles 12 were defeated by Canterbury Bulldogs 20
National Rugby League - Round 20 - Friday July 20, 2012 7:45pm
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Referee: Ben Cummins and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Dan Eastwood
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 0 Canterbury Bulldogs 12
MANLY SEA EAGLES (12)
Tries: Jason King, Jamie Lyon
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (2/2)
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (20)
Tries: Ben Barba (2), Sam Perrett
Conversions: Krisnan Inu (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Krisnan Inu (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good evening folks and welcome to Brookvale Oval where the Manly Sea Eagles take on the Canterbury Bulldogs in what should be a thrilling encounter.
There is certainly no love lost between these two sides and was evident when these two sides met in Round 8. The Sea Eagles got the better of their former coach that night defeating the Bulldogs 12-10 at ANZ Stadium.
We have crisp conditions in Brookvale this evening where both our coaches have confirmed that they will go into the match with the same 17 named on Tuesday afternoon. There is one positional change to the Bulldogs side, David Stagg shifts onto the bench, Josh Jackson moves into the starting side.
1 min: We are under way at Brookie! Manly will get first use of the footy.
3 min: Massive hit by Jason King on Sam Kasiano.
4 min: Manly are only 10 out on the last.
4 min: A great set by Manly comes to nothing after Daly Cherry-Evans is caught with the ball on the last.
6 min: Manly are half a metre out on the last. They are making great metres here.
6 min: Another opportunity goes begging after Jamie Lyon's kick hits the posts and into the arms of Kasiano.
7 min: Josh Reynolds kick is fielded by Manly 40 out from their own line.
8 min: Cherry-Evans' kicks on the fourth and the Manly a penalised for an illegal challenge Johnathan Wright.
11 min: TRY
TRY! A kick by Ben Barba is fielded by Jorge Taufua 10 metres from his own line and dangerously close to the sideline, he passes back inside as he's being tackled and Barba catches the ball and strolls over for a try. Krisnan Inu adds the extras.
Canterbury Bulldogs 6-0
12 min: The Bulldogs get a piggyback up the field on the back of a penalty.
13 min: Taufua knocks on a metre out from his own line and Krisnan Inu comes up with the ball, Bulldogs on the attack.
14 min: David Williams saves the day for Manly only to be tackled over the side line by Barba.
17 min: TRY
TRY! Reynolds puts up a chip-bomb on the back of the scrum and Sam Perrett who scores in the corner. Inu converts from the sideline.
Canterbury Bulldogs 12-0
18 min: Bulldogs receive a penalty 10 short of halfway and will go on the attack again.
18 min: Frank Pritchard loses the ball 20 out from the Manly line.
20 min: Manly are 10 out from the Bulldogs' line on the last and are looking dangerous, but Glenn Stewart throws a pass into touch.
22 min: Bulldogs are into Manly territory on tackle one. Kris Keating has just limped of the field.
23 min: Reynolds grubbers into the in goal and Dean Whare cleans it up for the Sea Eagles.
26 min: Manly receive a relieving penalty and should go on the attack here.
27 min: Cherry-Evans forces a line drop out with a nice little grubber.
28 min: Manly receive a penalty early in the count.
29 min: Steve Matai sends a pass over the side line on the last and Manly butcher another opportunity.
31 min: Bulldogs will get a whole set in Manly's half after Manly are ruled to have played a the ball.
32 min: Inu grubbers into the in goal early in the tackle count and the Sea Eagles are off the hook.
32 min: Darcy Lussick loses the ball on half way.
34 min: Taufua fields a Reynolds grubber a metre out from the line and Manly are off the hook.
34 min: Manly receive a penalty early in the tackle account and will get a piggyback up the field.
35 min: The Sea Eagles receive another penalty and will go right on the attack.
36 min: Foran's kick on the last finds legs
37 min: David Stagg goes straight through but he can't find support and is tackled.
37 min: Barba forces a line drop out.
38 min: Corey Payne loses the ball 40 out from the Manly line.
39 min: Cherry-Evans bombs on the last and Barba loses it backwards but Perrett is there to pick up the ball.
40 min: Manly try one last roll of the dice with Jamie Lyon chipping over the Bulldogs' defence but Barba takes the ball on his own 40 and makes it over halfway before being tackled into touch on half-time.
41 min: Cherry-Evans kicks off to bring us under way in the second half.
44 min: Bulldogs will get a scrum 10 out from the Manly line after Williams plays at a Reynolds kick before it goes over the sideline.
44 min: Bulldogs receive a penalty right in front and they decide to go for the two.
46 min: PENALTY GOAL
Inu has no problem kicking the goal from right in front.
Canterbury Bulldogs 14-0
48 min: Manly have an entire set of six a few metres out.
49 min: Wright saves the day for the Bulldogs.
51 min: TRY
TRY! Cherry-Evans grubbers from 30 out and Barba wills it dead but Lyon manages to race through and ground it just in time. Cherry-Evans adds the extras.
Canterbury Bulldogs 14-6
53 min: Manly receive a penalty on halfway.
54 min: Manly spread it out wide and Williams is knocked into touch a few metres out.
59 min: Taufua makes a massive break from halfway and Manly are right on the attack with a tackle in hand.
59 min: Manly receive a penalty.
61 min: TRY
TRY! Watmough takes the ball to the line before putting King in a gap, King scores under the posts. Cherry-Evans has no problem adding the extras.
Canterbury Bulldogs 14-12
67 min: Manly had Bulldogs trapped in their own 30 on tackle four before conceding a penalty.
68 min: Reynolds forces a line drop out.
69 min: Perrett knocks on on half way after fielding the line drop out.
70 min: Cherry-Evans goes to the air on the last but Wright diffuses it in his own in-goal and earns a 20 metre tap.
71 min: Josh Morris might have a try for the Bulldogs here.
72 min: No try! The Bulldogs are denied due to a knock on by Dale Finucane.
75 min: Williams is forced to force a Barba kick into touch. Bulldogs' scrum 10 out from the Manly line.
77 min: Bulldogs receive a penalty 10 out.
80 min: TRY
TRY! Barba grubbers on the last and bounces of the post and into his arms. He dives over the line. Inu adds the extras.
Canterbury Bulldogs 20-12
80 min: Cherry-Evans goes to the in final seconds of the match and Williams is there in the goal but loses the ball and that's the match. The Bulldogs have defeated the Bulldogs 20-12 in a thrilling showdown at Brookvale Oval.