Manly-Warringah have overcome a horror casualty ward on Sunday afternoon to grind out a 14-6 win over Canberra at Campbelltown.
They lost their five-eighth within the first 10 minutes and centre shortly after. Tom Trbojevic succumbed to yet another hamstring injury. There were two back rowers playing in the centres by the end, but still Manly were able to grind out a trademark win against the Raiders.
Two of the aforementioned injuries occurred in the first 5 minutes, with Walker going down with a nasty ankle injury and Parker a head knock. Despite that, Manly were the first to score. They ran a block play which Tom Trbojevic was at the centre of. He put the Raiders right side defence in two minds as he dummied and took them on, going all the way and making the score 6-0 after 15 minutes.
It became an arm wrestle for the next 20 minutes. The Raiders had plenty opportunities and George Williams cross-field kicks were ever threatening, however not for the last time Manly dug deep and were able to repel them.
With 4 minutes to go in the half, Manly got a penalty within goal kicking range and everyone watching thought a lead of 6 would become 8. The Sea Eagles decided to back themselves though and the decision was proved the correct one after Tom Trbojevic again took on the right side defence, this time passing to put rookie Tevita Funa over the line and making the half time scoreline 12-0.
The Raiders finally troubled the scorer 10 minutes into the second half off the back of some strong kick returns from the back 3. Jack Wighton was able to pass just before a flying Brendon Elliott made contact with him and Elliott Whitehead strolled through the huge defensive hole created.
Just after that the Raiders assumed favouritism as Tom Trbojevic hobbled off with a hamstring injury. It was Manly who lifted in the wake of their wounded team mate though, rolling upfield and kicking a penalty goal that put them up by 8.
It seemed a matter of when rather than if the Raiders would be able to come back and win with all of Manly's troops out, but Jarrod Crokers aerial effort went unrewarded as it was ruled he knocked before grounding the ball.
After that, the Raiders looked rather legless in attack, squandering numerous opportunities attacking the Sea Eagles' line. They were going toe to toe before Reuben Garrick pulled off a one on one strip and consigned the Raiders to their second defeat of the season.
Canberra will face another high profile opponent on Saturday night next week at Bankwest Stadium against the Eels, while Manly tackle the Sharks on Sunday afternoon at Central Coast Stadium.