The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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The Manly Sea Eagles bet the Cronulla sharks 36-18 in an enthused performance at Brookvale Oval.
Both teams intentions right from the start were too throw the football around. It wasn?t surprising then when Greg Bird went over just 10 minutes into the game to give the Sharks an early lead.
Manly hit back with a try of their own minutes later and started to build some momentum which lead to two more. The Sharks had the final say of the half with Emelio going over to keep them well in the hunt just 4 points adrift.
The Sharks took the lead early in the second half until a Walker goal and Watmough try saw Manly take it back again at 24-18.
The turning point of the match came shortly afterwards. Sullivan went straight through the Manly defence only to drop the ball cold over the line. If he?d scored the Sharks would?ve most likely have tied the game up 24 all.
Instead Manly pushed on to score two more tries and wrap the game up. The Sharks chances of making the finals now takes another blow while the Sea Eagles keep in touch with the top 8.
LeagueUnlimited's Player of the Year Awards: 3 - B Walker (Sea Eagles) 2 - L Dorn (Sea Eagles) 1 - D Peachey (Sharks)
Saturday 21 June 2003 5:30 PM Brookvale Oval Referee: Tim Mander
Scorers: Sea Eagles 36 Tries: Dorn, Menzies, Hopoate, Watmough, King, Donald Goals: Walker 4/5, Williamson 2/2 Sharks 18 Tries: Bird, Emelio, Sullivan Goals: Anderson 3/3
By the clock: 0 min: Kickoff!
5th min: NEWS - It's a pretty even contest in the opening minutes. A couple of errors have been made by both teams already. The Sea Eagles got the first penalty of the game.
7th min: NEWS - Hilder of the Sharks clashed with team mate Anderson and has been taken from the field with a nasty cut to the head.
11th min: TRY - Sharks. The Sea Eagles sat back and watched Bird as he stepped and weaved and eventually went in under the posts to open the scoring. Anderson converts - Sharks 6-0.
14th min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Cannings went through a hole, offloaded to Steve Menzies who sent it out wide to Luke Dorn who scored a very good try from Manly. Ben Walker converts - 6 all.
20th min: NO TRY RULING. Donald of the Sea Eagle tried to score in the corner. The referee Tim Mander went to the video referee who ruled Donald was held up and a scrum to Manly on the 10 metre line.
22nd min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Steve Menzies went straight from the back of the scrum and barged his way over the line. Ben Walker converts - Sea Eagles 12-6.
29th min: NEWS - Manly are looking very dangerous, they'll want to get some points for the good work they've put in.
34th min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Continued pressured paid off for the Sea Eagles. Reeves put up a bomb and Hopoate timed his run perfectly to re-gather and score. Walker fails to convert - Sea Eagles 16-6.
39th min: TRY - Sharks. Peachey gave the ball to Emelio who ran through a hole to score. Anderson converts - Sea Eagles 16-12.
Halftime: The Sea Eagles have dominated but the Sharks try right on halftime is a big blow. Halftime score - Sea Eagles 16-12.
41st min: The second half is under way!
49th min: TRY - Sharks. Bird got away a ball to Sullivan who fended off several Manly defenders to score. Anderson converts - Sharks 18-16.
52nd min: NO TRY RULING. Matthew Rieck of the Sharks made a great run to the line but the referee Tim Mander wanted to go upstairs to check the grounding. The video referee ruled Rieck had knocked it on and a 20 metre restart for the sea Eagles.
56th min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. The Sharks were penalised and Ben Walker slots the two points for the Sea Eagles - 18 all.
60th min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Watmough ran the ball to the line and went right through to score near the posts. Ben Walker converts - Sea Eagles 24-18.
61st min: NEWS - Ben Walker attempted to clean up a loose ball and took a knee from Chris Beattie. Walker has had the neck brace put on and been stretchered from the field.
64th min: NO TRY RULING. Sullivan has bombed a try. He went straight through the Sea Eagles defence from dummy half but dropped the ball over the line. Tim Mander went upstairs and the video referee ruled Sullivan had knocked on and a 20 metre restart for the Sea Eagles.
69th min: TRY - Sea Eagles. The big prop Andrew King recieved the ball out wide and went over in the corner. Tim Mander went to the video referee who after many looks ruled that the try had been scored. Luke Williamson converts - Sea Eagles 30-18.
73rd min: NO TRY RULING. John Hopoate went over in the corner but Tim Mander wanted to check for a double movement. In a very quick decision the video referee ruled that it was a double movement and a penalty to the Sharks.
76th min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Scott Donald got a good ball to put him in space and he ran 50 metres to score the winning try. Luke Williamson converts - Sea Eagles 36-18.
Fulltime: Manly have run away with the match in the end defeating the Sharks and moving 4 points clear of them on the points table. Fulltime score - Sea Eagles 36-18.