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Trent Hodkinson is the hero of Brookvale after his two field goals seal a nervewrecking 26-25 victory for Manly at home, in front of 11,661 fans.
Manly showed their intentions early in the contest, marching downfield and putting on a pet play for Steve Matai in his 100th game to score the game's opening try. Two pieces of brilliance from Issac Luke helped South Sydney taking the lead, first he beat several defenders and levelled the score. From the next play the ball, he ran off a Burgess pass to outsprint two Manly wingers to score.
The Sea Eagles wouldn't go away though, with Steve Matai taking a nice pass and withstanding a Souths tackle to get his second try just inside the touchline, Rodney converted from the sideline to make it a tight game close to halftime. Chris Sandow gave Souths a slim lead going into halftime, with a field goal in the last minute of the half, making it 13-12 although the news wasn't all good with Jamie Lyon reinjuring his ankle.
Some innovative play from the kick-off from Manly gave them prime field position for Matt Ballin to scoot his way over and give Manly the lead again, with barely three minutes gone in the second half. Tony Williams turned attacking option this time taking a nice pass and powering his way through to the line, handing Manly a 11 point buffer.
A coach killing error from the kick-off from Jason King, gave Rhys Wesser the chance to help Souths claw their way back and he did, scoring a determined try to bring it back to seven. Momentum was all on Souths side, with halfback Chris Sandow getting in on the act, slicing through and diving over. Issac Luke had a perfect night with the boot slotting the conversion to give Souths the lead.
Souths could of killed off the game, with a banana kick almost coming up trumps for Nathan Merrit but he was judged to have bounced the ball. That break was all the motivation Manly needed, as they marched downfield allowing new Bulldogs recruit Trent Hodkinson to kick a sweet field goal to level the scores.
Hodkinson repeated the dose two minutes later with his forwards laying a great platform to allow him to seal a heart-stopping and gutsy victory with not long left on the clock 26-25. Manly will be thrilled to secure that victory while South Sydney will be angry they couldn't kill off the game, when they had the chance to.
Manly Sea Eagles 26 defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 25
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 15 - Saturday June 19, 2010 7:30pm
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Jason Robinson
Video Referee: Paul Simpkins
Touch Judges: Luke Potter and Jeff Younis
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 12 South Sydney Rabbitohs 13
Manly Sea Eagles (26)
Tries: Matt Ballin, Steve Matai (2), Tony Williams
Field Goals: Trent Hodkinson (2/2)
Conversions: Shane Rodney (4/4)
South Sydney Rabbitohs (25)
Tries: Rhys Wesser, Issac Luke (2), Chris Sandow
Field Goals: Chris Sandow (1/1)
Conversions: Issac Luke (4/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to a chilly Brookvale Oval for an exciting clash between the Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs, earlier Souths ran away with the u20 game 36-16.
South Sydney are 1-17, with Manly only making one change, Cross is out with Bailey taking his place.
1 min: Both sides have taken to the field and we await kick off, with Issac Luke obliging.
2 min: Both sides have had simple and effective opening sets.
3 min: Matt Ballin scooting from dummy-half recieves the first penalty of the night.
6 min: TRY
Steve Matai opens his 100th game in style, with the first try. Ben Farrar took it to the line and offloads to Matai to finish. Shane Rodney has the kicking duties tonight and converts off the post.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
7 min: Nathan Merrit scurries out from his in-goal but Beau Champion throws a speculator which puts Asotasi under pressure and he's tackled in goal. Dropout.
8 min: Anthony Watmough can't hold onto the pill and Sandow's rushing defence does it's job this time.
9 min: Manly scrum after a loose Taylor pass is fumbled by Talanoa.
10 min: A good attacking set from Manly is ruined slightly after Hodkinson chips one straight to Talanoa in goal.
11 min: Sam Burgess is blowing up after being called for a knock on but replays show he dropped it cold.
12 min: Tony Williams and Ben Farrar get mixed up and cough up the ball.
15 min: Dave Taylor busts through the middle of the field but is brought down by Ben Farrar who concedes a penalty to boot.
16 min: Back to back penalties for Souths as Foran carries on, they recieve a thrid when Jamie Lyon is called offside.
18 min: TRY
Souths have their first try, Issac Luke beats Trent Hodkinson and has a saloon passage to the line. Luke converts his own try.
20 min: TRY
Souths create a beautiful play from their own half, with Chris Sandow slicing through, passing it to Burgess who gets it Issac Luke who streaks away for his and South Sydney's second try. Luke has no problems again and converts.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 12-6
22 min: Jamie Lyon is limping from the field, with the same ankle injury he hurt in Townsville.
23 min: An audible forward call by the touch judge is followed on by the referee, scrum Manly.
24 min: Dave Taylor tries a one on one strip but he propels it forward.
25 min: Manly's attacking formation is disjointed without Lyon, Rose and Hodkinson trying to put on a play but knocking on.
27 min: Possible second try to Steve Matai in his 100th game but he may be hurt, clutching his shoulder.
28 min: TRY
Manly have hit back! George Rose steps, spins and goes through the line drawing Rhys Wesser and throws it out to Steve Matai who gets it down just inside the touchline. Shane Rodney has unearthed a hidden talent for goal kicking, converting this from the sideline.
30 min: Brent Kite in his 200th game, from the bench tries to offload but is dumped on his back and drops the ball.
31 min: Too much mustard on that kick from Souths. It's out on the full.
33 min: John Sutton launches a huge bomb and Ben Farrar misjudges the ball and drops it over the dead ball line. Drop out Manly.
34 min: No advantage though for Souths with Crossman dropping it on the bring back.
35 min: Trent Hodkinson is pinged for a soft high tackle on Rhys Wesser.
37 min: Dave Taylor opening the toolkit again, dabbling a kick into the in-goal forcing Farrar to bat it dead.
38 min: South Sydney this time use Taylor as decoy, no they throw it to him but it's slightly behind and he drops it.
39 min: Trent Hodkinson grubbers through the line and almost pulls off a nice movement with Farrar who kicks again but Talanoa recovers and Souths start an attacking raid themselves.
40 min: FIELD GOAL
Souths will take a lead going into halftime, with Sandow sensing nothing on goes for a field goal and slots it. That's halftime.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 13-12
An open and entertaining half from both sides, though South Sydney taking a slim 13-12 lead into halftime and looked to spread the ball from their own end. Manly with injury concerns to their centre pairing, Lyons and Matai but need to somehow work their way back into the contest.
41 min: Both teams are back on the field with Steve Matai coming out, with Manly kicking it short and retrieving the kick off.
43 min: TRY
The short kick off tactic works with Shane Rodney going close but stopped. Matt Ballin dives in from dummy-half and scores. Shane Rodney continues his perfect record with this conversion.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-13
45 min: Souths recieve a timely penalty on the fourth tackle, Brent Kite never allowing John Sutton to play the ball.
46 min: Dave Taylor reaches for the cross-field bomb and throws it back into Manly's hands, with it being a changeover.
48 min: Manly get a penalty for Talanoa not rising to his feet to play the ball.
49 min: Souths touch the ball trying to stop Manly's momentum but it's ruled six again.
50 min: Chris Sandow leaps high and catches the ball in goal for the 20 metre tap. Jamie Lyon has hurt the same ankle as last time but worse, definitely miss Origin three.
51 min: Souths momentum is halted with a forward pass here.
52 min: South Sydney repel one Manly attacking raid but the kick rebounds off them but can they repel two with this six again.
53 min: Tony Williams can't get high enough to retrieve a long ball from Glenn Stewart and Souths survive.
55 min: End to end football here, with Manly going close to another try but a last minute intercept by Chris Sandow prevents that.
56 min: A high tackle from Nathan Merrit will piggyback Manly out of their end.
58 min: TRY
Manly attack down the right edge, with an inside ball for Tony Williams who powers his way over for a try. Rodney converts it again for an elevn point lead.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-13
59 min: A coach killer there, with Jason King throwing a ball back and into a South Sydney player and it's knocked on.
61 min: TRY
Rhys Wesser refuses to be stopped, jumping out of one tackle and drives for the line and scores. Issac Luke has no troubles and makes the difference five.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-19
62 min: A try saving tackle from Tony Williams on John Sutton prevents a try on fourth. Last tackle and Dave Taylor tries to go himself but knocks it on.
63 min: Scrum to South Sydney here, Bailey trying to offload after he was tackled.
65 min: Close shave there for Manly as they hold on but Sutton rolls it into the in-goal for a repeat set.
67 min: TRY
Chris Sandow does the trick, taking the ball to the line and slicing through to score and points to the Rabbitoh crest afterwards. Issac Luke gives Souths the lead.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 25-24
69 min: Manly's forward just barge the ball downfield, giving them enough space for a field goal but they elect to run it on last and Matai throws it to the grandstand.
70 min: A midfield bomb is allowed to bounce with Merrit almost creating something from nothing but Champion spills it.
72 min: Souths could have the game winning try here.
72 min: NO TRY! Nathan Merrit does all the hard work and almost pulled off a try but he bounced it.
74 min: Some awkward tackles creeping in here for South Sydney, they better be careful.
75 min: A Josh Perry high tackle gives Souths a penalty, they are into Manly's 20.
76 min: Issac Luke could have his hat-trick here, but we're going to video referee.
76 min: NO TRY! Dave Taylor cannons into a Manly defender, obstructing them allowing Luke a saloon passage.
77 min: FIELD GOAL
We're level here, with a great set from Manly marching them downfield, allowing Trent Hodkinson to slot a field goal.
79 min: FIELD GOAL
Trent Hodkinson has sealed the game here with his second field goal, 40 metres out.
Manly Sea Eagles 26-25
80 min: Manly just hit it up and run out the clock for a gutsy victory 26-25.