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Fulltime score: Round 26 Canberra Raiders 18 v Manly Sea Eagles 36
Match summary: The Manly Sea Eagles have proved to strong for the Canberra Raiders tonight at Canberra Stadium 36-18 in a game that was marred by the penalty count. Referee Stephen Clark blew 20 penalties throughout the game including 13 in the first half.
In a physical opening 15 minutes with every tackle putting the ball carrier on his back, Ben Cross was sin binned after a fight with Steve Matai when only moments earlier Cross was called out for a high shot on a Manly player and was placed on report for dropping the knees into the head of Terry Hill. In the 10 minutes that Cross was off, Manly ran in 12 points to nil and never looked back after a dominant performance from their forward pack led by Ben Kennedy and Anthony Watmough.
With the halftime score at 24-6 in favour of the visitors the final semi final place looked sewn up and it was assured when captain Monaghan scored off a quick play the ball on the last tackle for a 30-6 lead. Only 2 minutes later on the right hand flank Matai crossed for the away side of some poor defence which enabled the score to move to 34-6. However big the margin the Raiders still had heart and dominated the 2nd half in the Sea Eagles? half. Two well deserved tries were then scored by Matt Gafa and Ian Hindmarsh for the home side and another try was disallowed by the video referee against Matt Gafa.
Despite this the 1st half did all the damage for the Sea Eagles as they led by three tries at half time and ended up winning by three tries. The Raiders played as a spirited outfit in the second half but were too far behind to prove any damage. Kennedy, Watmough, Kite, Dunley and Monaghan all had outstanding games for Manly while for the Raiders Smith, Hindmarsh and Schifcofske tried very hard. The end score ended up as the Manly Sea Eagles 36 defeating the Canberra Raiders 18.
Raiders v Eagles match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: CANBERRA RAIDERS Tries: Hindmarsh 2, Gafa Goals: Schifcofscke 3/3 MANLY SEA EAGLES Tries: Watmough ,Hicks, Menzies, Harris, Monaghan, Matai Goals: Williamson 6/8
Live commentary: Changes:Sea Eagles:Stewart,Harris IN Donald,Randall
Raiders:Jason Williams drops off the bench
A win for the Sea Eagles tonight will guarentee themselves 8th position on the ladder and a semi final showdown against the Eels. A loss will open the door for the Panthers and the Roosters
0 min: Kickoff!!
1 min: NEWS Jason Smith puts a kick through in his own half for the Raiders and Brett Stewart loses it on his goaline
2 min: NEWS Chris Hicks relieves the pressure for the Sea Eagles after taking an intercept from an offload on his goaline
6 min: NEWS-ON REPORT Ben Cross on report for putting the knees into the head of Terry Hill
7 min: Video Referee Going to the video referee for a possible try to Anthony Watmough
7 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Anthony scores outwide from a Michael Monaghan grubber kick when Adam Mogg failed to dive on the ball in the ingoal of the Raiders. Williams Attempt hits the uprights Sea Eagles 4-0
12 min: NEWS Monaghan puts a long kick through and Clinton Schifcofscke drops the ball with no pressure on him
15 min: NEWS Very physical contest so far with big hits happening every tackle. Raiders currently on the attack
16 min: BIFF + SIN BIN With Stephenson down injured from a massive hit from Cross,a brawl has broken out between Cross and Matai. Cross is now in the bin
18 min: TRY- Sea Eagles Inside ball from Monaghan to Hicks with the help of some poor defence allows Hicks to cross under the posts. Williamson Converts. Sea Eagles 10-0
26 min: Video Referee Going upstairs to see whether Steve Menzies has dropped the ball over the line.
26 min: TRY - Sea Eagles Steve Menzies scores outwide after powering through 4 defenders.Cross Back on the field for the Raiders Williamson converts. Sea Eagles 16-0
30 min: TRY - Sea Eagles After a bust from Ben Kennedy in the next play Menzies goes through and puts Sam Harris over next to the posts. Williamson is successful. Sea Eagles 22-0.
35 min: TRY - Raiders Going to the line Jason Smith with a pin point accurate pass onto the chest of Ian Hindmarsh puts him over next to the posts. Schifcofscke slots it straight over the black dot. Sea Eagles 22-6
38 min: Video Referee Raiders go the length of the field on the last tackle and Marshall Chalk dives for the line but cant get there.
40 min: Penalty Goal - Sea Eagles Luke Williamson slots a penalty goal after Matt Gafa took out Steve Menzies off a kick through. Sea Eagles 24-6.
Halftime: After a cracker of a contest after 15 minutes with a close battle between the forwards, the Sea Eagles have pulled away thanks to the Ben Cross sin binning and their own back row led beautifully by Ben Kennedy who is having a blinder.
41 min: Back underway at Canberra Stadium
45 min: Chris Hicks has not returned from the sheds as he has an ankle injury and won't be back tonight.
47 min: TRY - Sea Eagles From a very quick play the ball on the last tackle Michael Monaghan was able to slide through the Raiders players who were trying to get back onside to surely seal it. Williamson converts. Sea Eagles 30-6.
50 min: TRY - Sea Eagles Matai crosses in the corner for Manly after yet another penalty against Matt Gafa for taking out Michael Monaghan late off a kick. Williamson's attempt is pushed too far wide. Sea Eagles 34-6.
60 min: NEWS All the possession is with the Raiders in attacking position but they can't cross the line.
61 min: TRY - Raiders Matt Gafa scores under the posts from a scrum win which resulted in a poor miss from Paul Stephenson. Schifcofscke Converts. Sea Eagles 34-12
63 min: Video Referee Checking whether Matt Gafa has made a double movement while in the process of scoring a try.
63 min: NO TRY Matt Gafa has been denied a try through double movement in what seams a harsh call by the video referee. Sea Eagles 34-12
72 min: Penalty Goal - Sea Eagles To add salt into the wound Luke Williamson slots a penalty goal over after he was hit with a high tackle from Alan Rothery. Sea Eagles 36-12.
74 min: TRY - Raiders Ian Hindmarsh hits a whole off an inside ball from young Todd Carney. It is a well deserved try as the Raiders have dominated the 2nd half. Schifcofscke converts. Sea Eagles 36-18.
Fulltime: The Sea Eagles have overpowered the Canberra Raiders tonight at Canberra Stadium on the back of a dominant first half performance. Despite this the Raiders came back well in the second half and drawing it 12-12 with the Sea Eagles ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - Ben Kennedy(Sea Eagles) 2 - Michael Monaghan(Sea Eagles) 1 - Jason Smith(Raiders) -----------------------------------------