Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
46 hours ago
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have won their second game in a row tonight, outlasting the Manly Sea Eagles by 34 points to 30 in a high scoring affair.
Both teams came here tonight desperate for a win, and despite an ill-disciplined beginning by the Red and Green?s, they managed to open up a good lead on the home team with two tries in ten minutes to David Fa?alogo and Lee Hookey.
Manly got a try back shortly after through flyer Chris Hick, who scored twice on the night, but before long Souths extended the lead to 24-8 at half time with further tries to Shane Walker and Luke MacDougall.
Well we all know that Manly?s form this year seems to have been patchy, in particular polarized by the half time break. And they certainly lived up to expectations tonight when they re-entered the playing surface. After an early try to Bunny Glenn Hall, Manly went on a scoring spree with four tries in the space of 14 minutes to snatch the lead from Souths.
Things were looking up for them with 15 minutes remaining, until the game all of a sudden became a whole lot more defense oriented. With five minutes remaining Lee Hookey broke the line to go in for a determined Souths outfit and claim what was eventually the match-winning try.
Kudos go to both teams for an open and entertaining clash where the lead switched hands a couple of times and made for exciting footy.
Brookvale Oval Referee: Shayne Hayne Video Referee: Mick Stone Touch Judges: Paul Holland, Steve Nash Scorers: SEA EAGLES Tries: Hicks 2, Donald, Williamson, Walker Goals: Walker 5/6 RABBITOHS Tries: Hookey 2, Fa'alogo, Walker, MacDougall, Hall Goals: Williams 5/6
By the clock:
And we're underway in the first half...Rabbitoh's kick-off!
3 min: PENALTY GOAL - Manly. After a fairly ill-disciplined start by the Bunnies, Andrew Walker pots a goal for the home side.
6 min: TRY - Souths. David Fa'alogo opens the account for the visitors. With the conversion from Joe Williams, the Bunnies take a 6-2 lead.
9 min: TRY - Souths. Another try to Souths, this time through centre Lee Hookey out a bit wider. Williams lands the conversion once again and takes the lead to an astonishing 12-2 after 10 minutes play. Rabbitohs off to a flying start.
15 min: TRY - Manly. The Eage's hit back through speedster Chris Hicks. Walker converts and reduces the deficit to 12-8 in favour of Souths.
32 min: TRY - Souths. Shane Walker darts across the line to extend the lead for the Rabbits. Williams converts again and the score now reads Souths 18 Manly 8.
39 min: TRY - Souths. Luke MacDougall crosses the white chalk for the Bunnies in an exceptional first half. They really look to have turned the corner under new coach Arthur Kitinis. Williams converts again and blows the lead out to 24-8 right on half time.
Souths really dominating here after a bit of a scratchy start. Manly seem to have no answer to their enthusiasm or skill, however as we all know they certainly come out firing in the second half and have played a very consistent brand of footy in the first stanza.
Statistics: Completions 18/19 Manly - 15/19 Souths Line Breaks 1 Manly - 6 Souths Penalties 5-3 in favour of Manly
And we're underway in the second half through the Manly Sea Eagles kick-off deep into enemy territory...
45 min: TRY - Souths. And the Bunnies are in again, this time through Glenn Hall. Great start to the second half and they look like they're picking up exactly where they left off. Williams fails for the first time tonight. Souths 28 Manly 8.
51 min: TRY - Manly. Scott Donald hits back for the home team at Brooky. Walker converts and the score is back to 28-14 in favour of Souths.
55 min: TRY - Manly. Under-rated backrower Luke Williamson goes over for Manly, as the Eagles start to make a comeback. Can they go on with it? Walker misses the extra 2 points and theres a 10 point gap with Souths leading Manly by 28-18.
60 min: TRY - Manly. Hicks grabs his second for the night. Boy this game is really starting to heat up as any form of defense goes straight out the window. Entertaining stuff though. Walker converts and the score now reads 28-24 to the Bunnies.
65 min: TRY - Manly. Walker crosses the line for the Maroon and Whites are really back in this contest. Wow - what a game. Walker converts his own effort and remarkably the Eage's now lead 30-28 over the Bunnies.
70 min: NEWS - Five minutes left on the clock and this one's going down to the wire. High scoring affair overall.
75 min: TRY - Souths. Hookey grabs a double as well. Great play from the man once touted as the best local junior to come out of Redfern for 20 years. Certainly living up to that reputation tonight. Williams adds the extras and the Bunnies are infront by 34-28 with only a few minutes remaining.
And the Bunnies win a great game here at Brookvale Oval, outlasting Manly by 34-30 in a high-scoring affair.
Statistics: Completions 30/37 Manly - 27/36 Souths Line Breaks 4 Manly - 8 Souths Penalties 7-6 Manly ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - J William (Souths) 2 - A Walker (Manly) 1 - L Hookey (Souths) -----------------------------------------