With no lost love between the two established clubs, great hype was built around the match during the week, with coach Hasler facing his former side for the first time.
In typical fashion, Bulldog Ben Barba snared the first points of the match with a step, which left the Manly defence wanting. Steve Turner with his first conversion attempt missed, with the Bulldogs 4-0 leaders after four minutes.
Throughout the contest the mid-field was the battle ground, as both sides fought to maintain possession. Josh Reynolds' direction gave his side the upper hand in the first half as they dominated field position.
With half-time looming, Jamie Lyon did not hesitate to take the gifted two points with a minute left in the half. At the break the Bulldogs held a rare lead 4-2.
Video Referee Phil Cooley was called upon to review a possible miracle try to Bryson Goodwin in the 69th minute, however replays revealed he failed to take control of the ball, much to the delight of Manly captain Lyon who had made a serious blunder in the lead up to the try.
After starting the season in VB NSW Cup, George Rose showed why he should have a permanent first grade position. The big man stepped and offloaded to a rampaging Steve Matai who strolled through to give Manly a 12-4 lead in the 75th minute.
The defending premiers refused to let up and their defence held strong in the final minutes, Manly closing 12-10 victors over the home side, Canterbury-Bankstown.
There will be injury concerns for the Bulldogs coming out of the match, with Steve Turner fracturing his patella. Scans in the coming days will reveal the extent of his time on the sidelies. For Manly, David Williams appeared to suffer a cork and did not finish the match.
The Bulldogs face the lowly Eels at ANZ Stadium next Friday, while Manly host Canberra next Sunday afternoon.
Canterbury Bulldogs 10 were defeated by Manly Sea Eagles 12
National Rugby League - Round 8 - Friday April 27, 2012 7:30pm
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Dan Eastwood
Halftime: Canterbury Bulldogs 4 Manly Sea Eagles 2
Canterbury Bulldogs (10)
Tries: Ben Barba, Bryson Goodwin
Conversions: Steve Turner (0/1), Bryson Goodwin (1/1)
Manly Sea Eagles (12)
Tries: Brett Stewart, Steve Matai
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary TEAM CHANGES:
Bulldogs: Greg Eastwood (15) comes into the starting side for David Stagg (13) who moves to the bench. Rest of the Bulldogs side is as per the team sheet.
Manly: Liam Foran (19) starts at 5/8th in place of his brother. Daniel Harrison (18) comes into the second row. Jamie Buhrer gets benched with George Rose (21) added to the side after a few games in the NSW Cup.
It's a good evening to you all on this wonderful Friday. A greatly hyped match up between these two sides tonight when the Bulldogs clash with the Manly Sea Eagles. Kick off from ANZ Stadium is penciled it for 7:45pm, which is 45 minutes away.
The game is hyped up around Des Hasler facing his former club in the Sea Eagles since he took control of the Bulldogs. It should be a fiery contest in all areas of the game, expect high quality football from both sides.
Tonight also sees the return of the Stewart Brothers, Brett and Glenn for Manly after being out for a number of weeks through injury.
Both sides going through their final preparation before this clash gets underway. Expected kick off is five minutes away.
The Sea Eagles make their way out first, followed by a pumped up Bulldogs side. Moments away from this match getting underway.
1 min: KNOCK ON! First touch of the game from Manly sees Jorge Taufua knock on from the kick off. Bulldogs have and win a scrum feed 10 metres out from the Manly line.
1 min: Lucky play from Manly with the kick landing into the hands of Daly Cherry-Evans who managed to keep himself in the field of goal.
2 min: Liam Foran completes the set with a kick away downfield from inside his 40 metre line.
4 min: TRY
Ben Barba broke through the Manly defence and raced for the line. A simple defensive lapse leaks points. Steve Turner's kick goes across the face of goal.
Canterbury Bulldogs 4-0
7 min: First penalty to the Bulldogs, and then Manly fought the decision and marched a further 10 metres. Bulldogs attacking inside their 40 metres
8 min: Another penalty to the Bulldogs for a strip. Attacking now only 10 metres out, decided against the penalty goal.
9 min: Steve Turner is forced into touch with the Manly covering defence pushing him over. Scrum feed packs down for Manly
10 min: Forward pass called against Manly's Jason King. Bulldogs earn a scrum feed on the Manly 30 metre line. Pressure building as early errors cost them possession.
11 min: Michael Ennis on the last tackle kicked across field to be easily taken by Manly. As a result, referee deemed him in goal and Manly get a quick 20 metre tap.
13 min: Manly looking lost in attack with a simple kick taken by the Bulldogs on their 30 metre line. Bulldogs applying the pressure and winning.
14 min: Bryson Goodwin smashed by two Manly defenders as he took the bomb 15 metres out from his own line.
15 min: Forward pass ruled against the Bulldogs, pass to Josh Morris deemed forward. Manly come away with possession.
15 min: Video Referee Decision Pending for Manly, possible try for Jamie Lyon
15 min: KNOCK ON! Racing to the line off the kick, Jamie Lyon and Brett Stewart knock each other out of the way as Stewart got a hand to it and knocked it forward. Bulldogs come away with it.
17 min: Time off here, concern for Brett Stewart after getting an accidental arm from Michael Ennis. Stewart is with the trainer.
17 min: Time back on and play continues with four tackles left for Manly on their own 40 metre line.
18 min: Turner coming up with the ball after Taufua handed over possession on the Bulldogs 10 metre line.
19 min: Manly after working it from their own goal line as David Williams is showing efforts of the prior no try decision. Possible injury to his lower leg.
20 min: George Rose is on the field for Manly after a number of weeks playing NSW Cup.
20 min: David Williams has a cork and will remain on the field as he will attempt to run it out.
22 min: Almost an error from the Bulldogs as the ball popped out the back. Bulldogs forced to kick from their 40 metre line.
22 min: KNOCK ON! Second mistake from the youngster. Bulldogs get and win the scrum feed on the Manly 20 metre line.
23 min: Steve Turner awaiting the ball off the Josh Reynolds kick. A lovely play from the Bulldogs, but the unlucky bounce of our ball saw the ball beat everyone over the touchline. Manly work it from a 20 metre tap.
25 min: Penalty for a strip against Liam Foran in front of their own posts. This helps the Bulldogs away from the line.
31 min: Liam Foran dives the kick downfield and it rolls dead. Bulldogs get a quick 20 metre tap. Manly not willing to give up with no further points before scored against them.
31 min: Brett Stewart sliding out of the in goal area to avoid being caught and giving away the goal line drop out. Manly playing it 10 metres out.
33 min: David Williams jumping out of the defensive line and coming up with the ball. Bulldogs defensive all over the place.
34 min: Manly getting their first penalty for the Bulldogs offside. Attacking deep in the half.
34 min: Another penalty on the goal line for Manly. Push in the ruck from the Bulldogs. Big chance to post points before half time.
36 min: Bulldogs putting Manly under a lot of pressure and forced the mistake. They work it from their goal line.
37 min: Reynolds' kick rolls over the dead ball to give Manly a scrum feed on their 10 metre line.
38 min: KNOCK ON! Reynolds has been good tonight, Cherry-Evans ankled tapped before he got a kick away and forced the error. Change over for Manly.
39 min: Zero tackle for Manly deep in the Bulldogs half after a knock on from the Bulldogs.
39 min: Penalty to the Manly boys for a Bulldogs getting involved in the ruck. Jamie Lyon will take an attempt at penalty goal
39 min: PENALTY GOAL
PENALTY GOAL! Manly
Jamie Lyon opting for points in front of the posts to get themselves on the board. A simply penalty against the Bulldogs sees the nil score broken. Points will be at a premium in the second half.
Canterbury Bulldogs 4-2
40 min: Half time at ANZ Stadium has BULLDOGS 4 leading MANLY 2. It's a rare score line, but after a battle in the middle of the field only the one four-pointer scored in the opening moments of the contest.
Second half action is set to get back underway in a moments time. The Bulldogs getting the first use as Manly kick off.
40 min: The second half is underway!
41 min: Ben Barba allowed the ball to bounce firstly but then regathered just before Steve Matai was able to collect it for points. At the end of it all, Barba was grounded and gave Manly a drop out.
44 min: TRY
Brett Stewart powered his way over the line in a wonderful spinning solo effort. Bulldogs defenders unable to wrap him up before the goal line. Lyon misses the kick.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-4
45 min: Kick from Manly ends there set with the kick finding the touchline. Bulldogs earn and win a scrum feed on the 10 metre line.
45 min: BANG! Big hit from Glen Stewart on Corey Payne, a massive hit to force the error. Manly on the attack metres from the Manly line!
47 min: Time off, a Bulldogs player is down. Steve Turner is down with a knee injury. Trainer is with him. Could come from the field here
47 min: Steve Turner has been carried from the field after sustaining a knee injury. Update to come when the information available.
48 min: Penalty for a strip against Jason King. Bulldogs march up field to cross the halfway line.
49 min: Unlucky tonight, Bryson Goodwin almost on the end of a certain try but David Williams in great covering defence forced him over the sideline. Keating kick pin point but the pressure too good.
53 min: KNOCK ON! Jason King in defence forced the dropped ball on the line. Scrum feed to the Manly side on half way.
54 min: Cherry-Evans with a bomb on the last tackle for Manly after a messy last play. Bryson Goodwin under no pressure secured the kick and brings up the 20 metre tap for the Bulldogs.
55 min: Brett Stewart in great covering defence stopped the line break of Josh Morris who streamed through the Manly line. The Bulldogs set ending with Manly getting a quick 20 metre line.
56 min: Kick from Manly ruled touch in goal and the Bulldogs get a 20 metre tap. End to end stuff with the battle of the middle field bashing both sides up.
57 min: Kris Keating snaps a kick downfield and rolls dead short of the corner post. Manly will pack a scrum feed down on their 10 metre line.
59 min: Jamie Lyon stabs a kick long the sideline and take by Barba as he returns it up to the Bulldogs 40 metre line.
60 min: Penalty Manly for a push in the back from the Bulldogs on Jamie Lyon. The previous play from Keating saw his kick fumbled by David Williams. However the error discounted with a Manly penalty.
60 min: David Williams has come from the field as Brett Stewart streaks down field and then loses the ball. A strange play at the end. Stewart with some real pace opened the Bulldogs line but his offload pass going away from support.
62 min: Reynolds with a chip and chase play caught Manly sleeping as he raced downfield 60 metres. Luckily for Manly Taufau was awake and took the ball in front of the sticks.
64 min: 40/20 Bulldogs! Josh Reynolds has been great tonight, a lovely kick downfield with a 40/20 kick. A scrum feed packs down for the Bulldogs, chance for points.
64 min: KNOCK ON! Michael Ennis looked to put Pritchard through a gap but the pass not on as he knocked on. So Reynolds 40/20 wasted with Manly coming away with the ball through a scrum feed.
66 min: Another stab kick from Lyon sees the ball roll dead and the scrum packs for the Bulldogs on their 10 metre line.
69 min: Video Referee Decision for a magical chance for points from Goodwin.
69 min: NO TRY! Jamie Lyon is very lucky not to concede points. Bryson Goodwin close to scoring but he missed the ball in attempting to ground the footy. Manly come away with it from a 20 metre tap.
69 min: Ben Barba took the ball in took to earn the quick 20 metre tap, however Josh Reynolds just offside so the play was called back.
70 min: Reynolds with a great saver on Taufau who looked to streak away. Great stuff from Reynolds tonight.
71 min: Cherry-Evans with a poor kick which rolled dead over the line and the Bulldogs with a quick tap on their 20 metre line
73 min: Knock on Bulldogs, chance for points for Manly
73 min: Anthony Watmough oh so close to sealing the win. However the defence holding him out. Line drop out the call as Manly get another set at the Bulldogs line.
75 min: TRY
George Rose after playing in the NSW Cup he put a step on and offloaded to Steve Matai who broke through the line to score and seal the match. Jamie Lyon adds the extras.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-4
77 min: TRY
Kris Keating supplied the lovely kick downfield with Bryson Goodwin streaked downfield and beat Jamie Lyon to the ball and dived over. From the touchline he converted it to make a 2 point game.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-10
78 min: KNOCK ON! Kasiano looked to offload but couldn't get the ball away. The Manly boys have a scrum feed on the 30 metre line. Less than 90 seconds to play.
79 min: 8 seconds for the Bulldogs to go 90 metres
80 min: And that is FULL TIME, kick going dead and Manly win. Tonight Manly have held together with a dominate second half to win 12-10 over the Bulldogs.