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The Sea Eagles have done enough to take the points over the Warriors in Auckland this afternoon, grinding out a 14-6 victory.
It was an inauspicious start for the Warriors - 19-year-old Bill Tupou spilling the ball with his first touch on debut. He did recover well however, and coach Cleary will likely be pleased with the young winger's first NRL performance.
It took until the 19th minute for the scorers to be troubled. A smooth cut-out ball from Ben Farrar put winger Michael Robertson over in the left corner. Phil Cooley confirmed that Robertson had indeed scraped just inside the corner flag.
Ten minutes later Farrar was off taking a compulsory rest, thanks to a professional foul on Tupou. Tupou made an impressive break through the middle, Farrar chased him down but held on for longer than referee Cummins could allow.
The Warriors failed to take advantage of the depleted Sea Eagles however. Captain Jamie Lyon added two points from right in front to give his side a 6-0 lead at the break.
The scores were tied not long into the second half. Ropati did well to dot down in the left corner, brushing off three would-be tacklers and staying in play. Maloney converted from the sideline, one high point in a mixed performance from last week's hero.
The talking point for Warriors fans will be Steve Matai's try in the 66th minute. He dived on a Foran grubber between the posts after Maloney hesitated. Cooley gave the green light with a benefit-of-the-doubt disclaimer, Matai not in control but getting enough on the ball for Phil's liking.
This was enough of a lead for the Sea Eagles to hold on to. A frequently flat Warriors attack couldn't find any holes in a solid Manly line.
Glenn Stewart was particularly strong in defense, making an impressive 44 tackles. Trent Hodkinson again made good contributions, likely cementing his spot at halfback. For the Warriors Michael Luck was ever reliable, adding another 45 tackles to his tally. In attack Lance Hohaia tried his best to spark something but found little support.
Next week the Sea Eagles host the Sharks in the local derby. The Warriors travel to ANZ Stadium to take on the Bulldogs.
New Zealand Warriors 6 were defeated by Manly Sea Eagles 14
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 4 - Sunday April 4, 2010 2:00pm
Venue: Mt Smart Stadium
Referee: Ben Cummins and Chris James
Video Referee: Phil Cooley
Touch Judges: Grant Atkins and Luke Phillips
Halftime: New Zealand Warriors 0 Manly Sea Eagles 6
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Glenn Stewart
2 Points - Trent Hodkinson
1 Point - Lance Hohaia
NEW ZEALAND WARRIORS (6)
Tries: Jerome Ropati
Conversions: James Maloney (1/1)
MANLY SEA EAGLES (14)
Tries: Steve Matai, Michael Robertson
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Good afternoon and welcome to the coverage from Mt Smart this Easter Sunday.
It's a nice sunny afternoon in the city of sails, here's the rundown on the conditions: