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The New Zealand Warriors have defeated the Manly Sea Eagles 20-16 at Brookvale Oval tonight scoring four tries to one, but not before having to overcome a massive 14-5 penalty count in favour of the home side.
Prior to the kick off, Manly were greeted with huge applause from the crowd. It was the first time since 1999 that team name 'Manly Sea Eagles' had played at Brookvale Oval.
But the Warriors were intent on spoiling the party and ran away to an early 14-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles struck back with some possession and field position but at half time, the visitors held a handy 14-8 lead.
Referee Steve Lyon caned the New Zealand side in the second half following a number of infringements in the Warriors danger zone.
Manly's Ben Walker was able to kick his team back into the match and with less than 10 minutes to go, the Sea Eagles snatched a 16-14 lead.
But with only three minutes left on the clock, Warriors' Clinton Toopi backed up some inspired running from PJ Marsh and Stacey Jones to score the winning try.
League Unlimited best players 3 - PJ Marsh (Warriors) 2 - S Jones (Warriors) 1 - J Seu Seu (Warriors)
Eagles 16 - Warriors 20 Sat 29 March 2003 7:30 PM Brookvale Oval Ref: Steve Lyons
Scorers: Sea Eagles 16 Tries: Lima Goals: Walker 6/6 Warriors 20 Tries: Toopi 2, Fa'afili, Swann Goals: Marsh 2/4
By the clock: 4 min: TRY - Warriors. Clinton Toopi crashes over out wide for an easy try. Conversion PJ Marsh just wide. Warriors 4-0
MANLY KICK OUT ON THE FULL from the re-start.
12 min: TRY - Warriors. Henry Fa'afili scores 8m in from touch through weight of possession. Conversion Marsh hits uprights and stays out. Warriors 8-0
17 min: TRY - Warriors. Logan Swann crashes through from close range. Follows successful 40/20 kick from PJ Marsh. Conversion Marsh. Warriors 14-0
30 min: TRY - Sea Eagles. Danny Lima crashes over and Ben Walker adds the extras. The home side are on the board. Warriors 14-6
39 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Ben Walker kicks his 200th career goal. Warriors 14-8
HALF TIME: Warriors on top early but Manly coming back for what should be an intriging second half of footy.
45 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Walker gets Manly within striking range. Warriors 14-10
49 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Referee handing out a number of cautions to both sides following a fight. He then delivers a penalty right in front to Manly. Penalties 11-4 in favour of the home side. Ben Walker slots it through. Warriors 14-12
58 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. Looking a lot a Rugby Union match as Manly get another penalty goal near the posts. This time against the Warriors for an infringement in the play-the-ball area. Ben Walker kicks another two pointer and Manly have their tails up. 14-all
71 min: PENALTY GOAL - Sea Eagles. The penalties keep flowing to Manly within kicking range and no doubt ref Steve Lyons wont be getting invited to to NZ in the near future. Warriors getting frustrated and give away another penalty within Ben Walker's limited range. Eagles hit the front for the first time. Sea Eagles 16-14
77 min: TRY - Warriors. Toopi backs up to score following some inspired charges downfield from PJ Marsh and Stacey Jones. Wide conversion Marsh. Warriors 20-16
FULL TIME: Warriors finally get home scoring four tries to one. Tough luck Manly... despite a truck load of penalties and penalty goals, the home crowd advantage was never enough.