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Manly crowned World Champions
Three quick tries in six minutes to start the second half won the game for Manly as they became the first Australian team in six years to win the World Club Challenge, defeating the Leeds Rhinos 28 points to 20.
Though the scoreline reads only eight points difference, and Leeds finished the stronger of the two, make no mistake this match was over after 47 minutes.
Coming out of the break leading 12 points to 4, Manly exploded out of the blocks with three quick-fire tries, with Brett Stewart and Anthony Watmough both collecting their second before Steve Matai finished off a length of the field effort to blow the difference out to 22.
Leeds managed to reel back in the scoreline through tries to Keith Senior and Ryan Hall, however a penalty goal from Orford with five to go killed off any chance of a comeback.
It was a heated affair, with both teams earning the ire of referee Jason Robinson, who blew 28 penalties in the encounter, and sent both Josh Perry and Jamie Peacock to the sin-bin after an all-in brawl midway through the first half.
Following the brawl, Manly finally broke through to open the scoring for the match, with Brett Stewart darting from dummyhalf close to the line.
Watmough extended the lead when he ran onto a short ball from Orford and raced off for his first of the match.
Leeds finally got on the board just before halftime through a very contentious try to Jamie Jones-Buchanan, the lead-up to which seemed to include a Manly player tackled without the ball, and a knock-on in-goal by Danny McGuire.
Manly Sea Eagles (28)
Tries: Brett Stewart (2), Anthony Watmough (2), Steve Matai
Goals: Matt Orford (4/6)
Leeds Rhinos (20)
Tries: Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Keith Senior, Ryan Hall, Danny McGuire
Goals: Kevin Sinfield (2/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match
3 Points: Brett Stewart
2 Points: Anthony Watmough
1 Point: Matt Orford
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Good morning all and welcome to LeagueUnlimited's live commentary of the World Club Challenge between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Leeds Rhinos. Manly are looking to become the first Australian team since the Roosters to be crowned world champions, while Leeds are seeking to become the first team to win back-to-back world championships.
0 min: And we're underway! Leeds to have first use of the football.
1 min: A jolting tackle on Glenn Stewart forces the ball loose and Leeds gain possession right on halfway.
2 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Leeds get the first penalty, and the first real attacking opportunity.
6 min: PENALTY - Manly: A penalty for a high shot from the tap restart and a great touch finder gives Manly a fresh set inside Leeds 30
7 min: A cross-field kick from Orford is just a tad too high for Robertson, who knocks in into touch.
8 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds knock the ball on, then are accidentally offside, giving Manly yet another set inside their own half.
9 min: PENALTY - Manly: And another penalty against Leeds, this one for slowing down the play-the-ball.
10 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Manly blow their perfect scoring opportunity after Matai gives the ref a gobfull
10 min: PENALTY - Leeds: A high tackle from King on the first hitup moves Leeds even further down field
10 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Even more dissent from Manly, and yet more penalties from referee Robinson
11 min: PENALTY - Manly: Now Leeds blow their chance by taking out a defender off the ball.
14 min: Believe it or not, it's been about 3 minutes since the last penalty, and there's actually been some football played! Unfortunately for Manly fans, their two sets in attack have ended early through Jamie Lyon errors.
15 min: Big defence from Leeds keeps Manly camped down inside their 30 for the set
16 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Robinson awards the penalty for the high tackle as Burrow is assisted from the field
17 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds strip the ball in the tackle, and Manly get a fresh set up over halfway.
18 min: A great bomb from Orford just hangs in the air and gives Lyon and Bailey a chance to rush up and trap Lee Smith in-goal
20 min: IT'S ON! Perry and Peacock have started throwing punches!
20 min: SIN BIN: Both Jamie Peacock and Josh Perry have been sent off for 10 to cool down.
20 min: PENALTY - Manly: With both teams now down to 12, Manly deny the chance at goal and kick for touch.
21 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles It's been a long time coming, but finally Manly break through for the opening try, with Stewart dummying out from dummy half before going himself and planting the ball over the line. Conversion attempt by Matt Orford successful. Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
25 min: Both teams looked to have finally settled down after quite a start to this match, now playing end to end football and getting through their sets.
28 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds too slow to move off the tackle.
29 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles A great short ball at the line from Orford hits Watmough in the gap who streaks away 30 metres for the try. Conversion attempt by Matt Orford successful. Manly Sea Eagles 12-0
31 min: Peacock and Perry both back on the field now
33 min: Brett Stewart has just bombed a certain try! Watmough broke through the line once again and raced downfield. When he came to Lee Smith he passed inside to Stewart who bounced the ball off his chest and onto the ground with a wide open goal-line begging
35 min: Great scrambling defence on their line by Leeds somehow manages to keep a threatening Manly outfit out.
36 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Manly caught up inside the ten, and Leeds will get a much needed piggyback upfield.
37 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Leeds Try...
37 min: TRY Leeds Rhinos A very contentious try here for Leeds. Danny McGuire chased through a very poor Sinfieild mid-field bomb, and looked to push Glenn Stewart off the ball in recovering it. He was then tackled and rolled onto his back in-goal by Orford without placing the ball down, and in trying to force the ball looked to lose it forward at which point Jones-Buchanan placed a hand on it. English video ref Ganson saw differently, however, and has awarded the try. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield unsuccessful. Manly Sea Eagles 12-4
HALF TIME And it's half time here at The Stoop in a very entertaining match, with Manly leading at the break 12 points to 4.
40 min: Sinfield gets the second half underway!
41 min: PENALTY - Leeds: And it hasn't taken long for Robinson to find his whistle again, penalising L'Estrange for lying all over the tackled player.
43 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles Very opportunistic try for Stewart here. Robertson went for a long break down the sideline, and with the defence converging passed back inside. Leeds failed to clean the ball up, and Stewart was johnny on the spot to clean up and race off for the try. Conversion attempt by Matt Orford unsuccessful. Manly Sea Eagles 16-4
44 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles Back-to-back tries for Manly and you'd think it'd just about be over for Leeds. Quick hands along the line deep in their own half found Robertson once again in space. He raced about 30 metres before kicking back in-field for Brett Stewart who looked away for the hat-trick for all money before being caught from behind 5 out. From the quick play-the-ball Watmough simply had to dive through the weak defence for the points. Conversion attempt by Matt Orford successful. Manly Sea Eagles 22-4
47 min: VIDEO REF - Possible Manly Try...
47 min: TRY Manly Sea Eagles Now it's definitely over for Leeds as Manly have once again gone the length of the field to score. A long break by Shane Rodney was backed up by L'Estrange who then passed out to Matai who juggled before regaining control and touching down for the try. Conversion attempt by Matt Orford unsuccessful. Manly Sea Eagles 26-4
49 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds continue on with the tackle after held was called, and Manly will get another chance to extend their lead.
51 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Chris Bailey guilty of lying in the tackle, and Leeds will get a chance to try and reel this scoreline in.
52 min: Leuluai only has eyes for the tryline but doesn't realise he needs the ball to score as he lets it bounce off his shoulder and back into Manlys hands.
55 min: PENALTY - Manly: Jones-Buchanan puts Matai in a headlock and subsequently gives away the penalty.
57 min: PENALTY - Manly: Lee Smith gives away the penalty in possession by playing the ball after being called to play on. Manly with a full set on Leeds 10.
61 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Manly up inside the ten, and Leeds will get another chance to try and reduce the deficit.
61 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Back-to-back penalties from Watmough gives will put more pressure on the Manly defence.
62 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Rodney gives away the penalty on the very last tackle, so Leeds get another set of six to post some points.
64 min: TRY Leeds Rhinos With three back-to-back sets, Leeds simply had to score. Second-phase football from Sinfield produced an overlap out-wide for Senior to take full advantage of. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. Manly Sea Eagles 26-10
65 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds give away an obstruction penalty on the second tackle after the restart, and Manly will look to cancel out the try just scored.
67 min: An in-goal jostle for the ball which ended up over the touch in-goal line is initially ruled a knock-on by Manly, however after consulting with the video referee is overturned to a goal-line dropout.
68 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Manly put too much work in the tackle and give Leeds a free pass away from their line.
69 min: PENALTY - Leeds: Back-to-back penalties for Leeds for back-to-back infringements in the tackle.
72 min: TRY Leeds Rhinos Lauitiiti down a very short side from dummy half, then passes out to Hall who runs in uncontested for the try. Fantastic kick from the sideline by Sinfield. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield successful. Manly Sea Eagles 26-16
74 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds refuse to let Orford get up to play the ball, and fisticuffs break out once again.
76 min: PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea Eagles Orford elects to take the two points just to wind the clock down further. Manly Sea Eagles 28-16
77 min: Leeds attempt the short kickoff and get the ball back.
78 min: Fantastic defence from Brett Stewart, who takes down a charging Jones-Buchanan just before the line.
78 min: PENALTY - Manly: Leeds steal the ball in the tackle and Manly will get one last chance to add to their tally.
79 min: Cuthbertson loses the ball in the tackle, but I daresay he won't be too worried about it.
80 min: TRY Leeds Rhinos A fantastic run by Keith Senior lays on the try to Danny McGuire. It didn't win them the game, but it was fantastic to watch and added alot of respectability to the scoreline. Conversion attempt by Kevin Sinfield unsuccessful. Manly Sea Eagles 28-20
FULL TIME It's full time here, with the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles becoming the first Australian team since the Sydney Roosters back in 2003 to win the World Club Challenge, beating the Leeds Rhinos 28 points to 20.