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Manly have scraped their way to a 28-20 win against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in today?s clash at Brookvale oval.
A downpour in Sydney ensured that the match would be a sloppy affair. A water logged pitch proved difficult for both teams as the ground cut up and became muddy under foot.
Manly hit the scoreboard first with a penalty goal to Ben Walker. It was to be the story of the day for Souths as they conceded penalty after penalty. It was the Rabbitohs however that were the first to find their way over the line when Merritt scored in the corner.
From that point on in the first half Manly dominated. Souths could barely complete a set. Their handling and poor discipline saw them bogged down in their own territory for most of the first 40 minutes. The Eagles weren?t able to turn field possession into tries but managed to put another 4 points on the board through two more penalty goals to Ben Walker.
Manly then received a huge blow when Menzies was sent to the sin bin. The captain was repeatedly told by referee Matt Cecchin to be quiet but failed to take his advice. The Eagles weren?t affected though as McGuiness made a break from dummy half and Jenson finished off right on halftime.
With the captain Steve Menzies back on the field the Eagles advanced their lead when Watmough was unleashed to score in the corner. Souths hit back quickly with Nathan Merritt scoring his double in the corner.
Souths proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot with two acts of ill-discipline. Chris Walker was put on report for throwing punches at Andrew King which gave Ben Walker an easy penalty goal right out in front. Shortly after Souths captain Brian Fletcher was sent to the sin bin for talking to the referee when being asked to go away.
The absence of their captain didn?t bother Souths as they kept their hopes alive when Kearney went through a wide open Eagles defence. Manly were quick to extinguish the Souths flame at the other end when McGuiness scored off a Chris Walker knock on.
Souths re-gathered to score a consolation try in the dying minutes but it was all too late as Manly had an 8 point lead and the victory rapped up.
In the end Souths were their own worst enemy. They conceded five penalty goals which was enough to give Manly a comfortable win. This is the Eagles third win on the trot now while if the struggling Souths ever want to post premiership points they're going to have to seriously work on their discipline.
Leagueunlimited?s Player of the Year Awards: 3 ? A Watmough 2 ? N Merritt 1 ? J Ferris
Scorers: Sea Eagles Tries: Jenson, Watmough, McGuiness Goals: B. Walker 8/8 Rabbitohs Tries: Merritt 2, Kearney, Fletcher Goals: Smith 1/2, Craigie 1/2
By the clock: 0 min: Kickoff!
3rd min: PENALTY GOAL - Eagles. A Chris Walker mistake got Manly into Souths Territory and when given a penalty straight out in front Walker had no trouble in slotting the two points - Manly 2-0.
10th min: TRY - Souths. Eagles defenders found themselves bunched up the middle and Russo threw an over the top ball that found Nathan Merritt with space in front of him. The video referee was called to rule on whether there was obstruction but correctly ruled Merritt had scored. Smiths conversion attempt was on target but didn't have the legs - Souths 4-2.
13th min: NEWS - The conditions are very wet at Brookvale oval today. The water on the pitch is quite noticable and already mud patches are starting to appear. Points will definetly be at a premium today.
15th min: PENALTY GOAL - Eagles. Souths gave away another penalty in kicking range. Once again Ben Walker was up to the task - 4 all.
18th min: PENALTY GOAL - Eagles. Souths again shot themselves in the foot. This time the penalty was given for Ben Walker being taken out of the play. Walker successfully kicked his 3rd goal of the match - Manly 6-4.
28th min: NEWS - Souths are their own worst enemy today. Their constant mistakes have meant they've spent most of the match on the back foot without the ball and in their own half.
30th min: SIN BIN - Manly. Unbelievable happenings at Brookvale. Menzies was repeatedly told not to talk by referee Matt Cecchin. Menzies took no notice of the warnings and now finds himnself in the bin for 10 minutes.
34th min: TRY - Manly. McGuiness walked straight through the Souths line running from dummy half. He then sent the ball onto Jensen who went in under the posts. Ben Walker is successful in converting the try - Manly 12-4.
Halftime: The wet conditions have resulted in a very sloppy first half. Souths are lucky to be only 8 points behind on the scoreboard as they have been absolutly terrible. Constant mistakes have kept them in their own half for the bulk of the first 40 minutes. Manly will look to push on with their 8 point advantage and the captain Menzies due to come back from the sin bin - Manly 12-4.
41st min: The second half is under way!
42nd min: NEWS - Manly have their captain Steve Menzies back on the field from the sin bin.
44th min: TRY - Manly. The Eagles spread it wide into the hands of Watmough who scored in the corner. The video ref wanted to check the grounding but gave it the ok. Ben Walker kicks a stunner from the sideline - Manly 18-4.
52nd min: TRY - Souths. The Rabbitohs chance their arm spreading the ball out wide where it found Nathan Merritt who found the tryline for the second time today. The video ref was called upon to see if Merritt touched the touchline but ruled it a try. Smith is unsuccessful from out wide - Manly 18-8.
56th min: NEWS - Chris Walker is put on report after throwing punches at Andrew king. The Eagles are awarded a penalty straight out in front of the souths line.
57th min: PENALTY GOAL - Ben Walker slots an easy goal from his brothers penalty - Manly 20-8.
61st min: SIN BIN - Souths. Amazing turn of events here. Menzies in the first half was sin binned for back chatting to the referee. Now the opposing captain Brian Fletcher has been binned for the same offence.
62nd min: PENALTY GOAL - Manly. Ben Walker slots an easy penalty goal thanks to the Brian Fletcher sin binning - Manly 22-8.
71st min: TRY - Souths. Kearney goes through a huge hole in the Eagles defense as they start to tire. Is a comeback in the making? Owen Craigie converts the try - Manly 22-14.
76th min: TRY - Manly. Chris Walker knocked on a kick from his brother ben which was picked up by Kevin McGuiness to rap up the match for Manly. The video ref was called upon to rule whether McGuiness was onside and gave it the ok. Ben Walker is successful in converting the try - Manly 28-14.
77th min: TRY - Souths. Chris Walker made a huge break to take the Rabbitohs downfield. Kearney then put in a kick into the in goal which was dived upon by Brian Fletcher. Smith is successful in converting the try - Manly 28-20.
Fulltime: Souths fought hard in the second half but in the end the Eagles held on and at the end of the day have penalty goals to thank for their victory. Final score - Manly 28-20.