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The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 27-16 in front of 12,250 fans at Brookvale Oval.
The Bulldogs led 10-7 at half time but Manly had far too much firepower in the second half, running in 3 tries to all but end the Bulldogs finals hopes.
Manly opened the scoring in the 15th minute through David Williams who received a brilliant offload from Sea Eagles skipper Jamie Lyon to streak away.
It was an improved performance from the Bulldogs and they hit back when Josh Morris dived on a grubber from Joel Romelo. A few minutes later Manly's Kieran Foran was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul and while the Bulldogs failed to capitalise, an intercept try to Jonathan Wright on the stroke of half time gave them a deserved 10-7 lead.
In a blow to the Bulldogs their chief playmaker Trent Hodkinson came off injured with a calf injury early in the second half and when Glenn Stewart was awarded a try off a kick in the 45th minute Manly regained the lead.
Impressive rookie Daly Cherry-Evans set up Jamie Lyon for Manly's next try and with Hodkinson off the field they looked like they would run away with the game.
To the Bulldogs credit they hit back immediately through Ben Barba to cut the deficit to 3 points with 20 minutes remaining.
Steve Matai scored the match-sealer for Manly in bizarre circumstances as the Bulldogs defence, expecting a penalty, stopped and Matai broke through and beat three more defenders to score a brilliant individual try.
Matai was also involved in a talking point in the first half when he appeared to trip David Stagg with his legs. The incident went largely unnoticed by the referees who only provided a brief caution several minutes later.
The win for Manly keeps them firmly in the Top 4 while the Bulldogs need several results to go their way in the coming weeks to have any hope of scraping into the finals.
Manly Sea Eagles 27 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 16
National Rugby League - Round 24 - Sunday August 21, 2011 2:00pm
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Referee: Jason Robinson and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Chris Ward
Touch Judges: David Abood and Clayton Sharpe
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 7 Canterbury Bulldogs 10
MANLY SEA EAGLES (27)
Tries: Glenn Stewart, Steve Matai, Jamie Lyon, David Williams
Field Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (1/1)
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (4/4)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
CANTERBURY BULLDOGS (16)
Tries: Ben Barba, Jonathan Wright, Josh Morris
Conversions: Steve Turner (2/3)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Hello and welcome to today's live coverage of the clash between the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval.
Toyota Cup: Bulldogs 52 defeated Manly 0.
Betting Odds: Manly $1.25 - Bulldogs $4.00
1 min: KICK OFF! Steve Turner kicks off for the Bulldogs and Manly have first use of the football.
2 min: First set from Manly, first bomb. Steve Turner lets it bounce but it goes into touch.
5 min: Tolman offloads to Barba who breaks down field and links up with Josh Morris who is tackled. Andrew Ryan launches a huge cut-out pass in the next play but it is ruled forward.
7 min: Dropout Bulldogs. Lyon toes through a grubber for David Williams and Barba knocks it dead.
8 min: Off the back of a penalty Manly have a full set on the Bulldogs line finishing with David Williams knocking on a Glenn Stewart grubber. Good scrambling defence from the Bulldogs.
13 min: Dropout Manly. Hodkinson puts a cross-field kick up for Idris and Manly knock the ball dead.
15 min: TRY
Kieran Foran intercepts a Kasiano offload to put Manly on the attack. Manly shift the ball right and Jamie Lyon provides the perfect Gidley offload for David Williams to streak away and score.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
19 min: Jamal Idris steps inside Matai and looks destined to score but drops the ball as he tries to put it down.
20 min: Josh Morris defuses a cross-field kick from Foran and brings the ball out to the 20m line.
24 min: Matai breaks through the line and Barba comes up with a 1-on-1 strip to save the day for the Bulldogs.
25 min: Possible trip from Matai on David Stagg goes unnoticed by the referees.
26 min: TRY
Joel Romelo toes through a grubber and Josh Morris wins the race to the football. Turner missed the conversion in his 150th career game.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-4
28 min: Hodkinson regathers a deflected kick and as he passes to his support player Foran is ruled to tackle the man without the ball. Could have warranted a penalty try and Foran has 10mins in the bin.
33 min: The Bulldogs are playing with good pace in attack while Manly are down to 12 men.
34 min: Good attacking build up from the Dogs but David Stagg finds himself with the ball on the last tackle and grubbers the ball dead.
37 min: Smart play from Manly as Cherry-Evans kicks the ball into touch to wind down the clock while Foran is off the field.
38 min: Hodkinson breaks straight through off the scrum after a defender is called offside and then has the ball stripped off him. Hodkinson now down injured.
39 min: FIELD GOAL
Manly get on with business as Hodkinson limps off the field and Cherry-Evans kicks a field goal from 35m.
Manly Sea Eagles 7-4
39 min: Kieran Foran back on the field.
40 min: TRY
Jonathan Wright intercepts a floating Glenn Stewart pass and runs 40m to give the Bulldogs a half-time lead.
Canterbury Bulldogs 10-7
40 min: Half-time: Hodkinson off injured, a stint in the sin bin for Kieran Foran and an intercept on the stroke of half-time. A high quality game so far highlighted by the impressive performance of the Bulldogs. Bulldogs lead Manly 10-7.
41 min: Manly kick off to restart the game and the Dogs have the ball on their 30m line.
43 min: In good news for Bulldogs fans Trent Hodkinson will play the rest of the game despite a calf injury.
45 min: Possible Try to Glenn Stewart after Lyon taps back a cross-field kick.
45 min: TRY
The try is awarded. Stewart dives on the football after Lyon taps back a cross-field kick.
Manly Sea Eagles 13-10
46 min: On top of the try Hodkinson has succumbed to his calf injury and is off the field.
50 min: Huge hit from Tony Williams on Greg Eastwood. Eastwood knock on Manly have a scrum 30m from the Dogs line.
52 min: Dropout Bulldogs. Barba knocks a Cherry-Evans kick dead and the Dogs are just holding on in defence.
53 min: TRY
Daly Cherry-Evans weaves his way through the Bulldogs defence and offloads to Jamie Lyon who gets the ball down in traffic.
Manly Sea Eagles 19-10
55 min: Brent Kite loses the ball on the first tackle and the Dogs have a chance to hit straight back.
56 min: TRY
Barba kicks on the 2nd tackle and gets a lucky deflection to dive on his own grubber. A question on whether Idris took out Robertson but the referee awards the try.
Manly Sea Eagles 19-16
58 min: Idris makes a break down field and the Bulldogs are straight back on the attack.
59 min: The Bulldogs get a penalty and have a full set on Manly's line.
60 min: Andrew Ryan can't control a Warburton offload and Manly survive.
62 min: Cherry-Evans makes a clean break and kicks inside for Brett Stewart but the ball goes dead.
64 min: Idris makes half a break and offloads to Barba who has the line wide open but can't control the football.
67 min: TRY
Unbelievable try to Steve Matai! The Bulldogs players stop playing after thinking they're offside and Matai runs straight through before beating defender after defender to score.
Manly Sea Eagles 25-16
72 min: Watmough makes a break down field but loses the ball as Morris and Barba drag him down.
73 min: Fight! Kind of. Kasiano throws Cherry-Evans around well after the tackle and they all stream in for some push and shove. Penalty to Manly and they have the ball on halfway.
76 min: BOOM! Josh Reynold rattles Robertson with a monster hit.
78 min: Idris is away down the sideline but Shane Rodney makes a great cover tackle to drag him into touch.
80 min: PENALTY GOAL
Lyon kicks a penalty goal on full time and Manly win by 11.
Manly Sea Eagles 27-16