The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have advanced through to the 2013 NRL Grand Final as they eliminated the South Sydney Rabbitohs, 30-20, at ANZ Stadium. A crowd of 44,546 watched on as both teams battled for a spot in this year's decider.
Adam Reynolds kicked the Rabbitohs ahead to a 2-0 after just five minutes with a penalty goal. The opportunity came as Glenn Stewart was placed on report for a high tackle.
Just minutes later John Sutton stole a try as he darted from acting half to burrow under the Manly defence. Rabbitohs extended to 8-0 after 9 minutes.
Nathan Merritt added his name into the record books as he equaled Benny Wearing's 80 year old record as Rabbitohs leading try scorer. Nathan Merritt crossed 10 minutes into the contest which saw the Rabbitohs hold a 14-0 lead.
The Stewart brother made up for earlier errors as they linked together to score a beautiful try for the Sea Eagles. Glenn Stewart placed a grubber kick to the in goal for his brother Brett to claim first Manly points. Quarter-way through the match, South Sydney 14-6.
After a hard fought 40 minutes, the Rabbitohs went into the sheds holding a 14-6 lead.
The second half saw the possession and momentum shift in favour of the Sea Eagles as they scored 24 unanswered points.
Matt Ballin had Brett Stewart to thank as he bolted into a hole of the Rabbitohs defence to score untouched. Jamie Lyon converted to close the gap to 2 points, Rabbitohs 14-12.
Jamie Lyon was awarded the Man of the Match for his efforts in tonight's match. He was rewarded further as he claimed his own try and brought up 1000 career points with a conversion. Mid-way through the second half, Manly jumped to the lead, 18-14.
In an incredibly turn of skill from David Williams, he dived over in the corner to somehow ground the ball before the sideline. A truly freakish try saw Manly kick ahead to 24-14 with 16 minutes on the clock.
The Sea Eagles cemented their spot in the 2013 NRL Grand Final as Tom Symonds raced away off a kick charge down to score the Sea Eagles' 5th try, Manly 30-14.
Dylan Walker crossed for the Rabbitohs in the 80th point to claim constellation four-pointer. Issac Luke given the opportunity to convert the try and he was successful. After a hard fought 80 minutes, the Sea Eagles advance with a 30-20 victory over the Rabbitohs.
The Sea Eagles will battle either the Sydney Roosters or Newcastle Knights in the Grand Final pending the result of the second Preliminary Final tomorrow night at Allianz Stadium.
South Sydney Rabbitohs 20 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park, Australia
Halftime Score: South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-6
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jamie Lyon
2 points - Brett Stewart
1 point - George Rose
SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS (20)
Tries: John Sutton, Nathan Merritt, Dylan Walker
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (2/2), Issac Luke (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Adam Reynolds (1/1)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (30)
Tries: Brett Stewart, Jamie Lyon, Matt Ballin, David Williams, Tom Symonds
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (5/5)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
TEAM NEWS first in for the Rabbitohs, sees them 1-17 with Ben Lowe, Luke Keary and Matt King dropped off the bench ahead of kick off at 7:58pm this evening.
Meanwhile for Manly, Brett Stewart has been cleared to play tonight and Manly are unchanged with 1-17 taking the field. Peta Hiku, James Hasson and David Gower no required on the bench.
Rabbitohs: 1. Greg Inglis 2. Nathan Merritt 3. Bryson Goodwin 4. Dylan Walker 5. Dylan Farrell 6. John Sutton 7. Adam Reynolds 8. Dave Tyrrell 9. Issac Luke 10. Luke Burgess 11. Sam Burgess 12. Ben Te Like