The Manly Sea Eagles have had to get through a nervous second 40 minutes to hold onto a 22-18 victory against the Parramatta Eels at Brookvale Oval.
Both sides were heavily impacted by injuries but it was the Manly Sea Eagles who were able to start the game on fire and they opened the scoring after just three minutes. Martin Taupau steamrolled his way to the line and got Manly on the board first. The Sea Eagles were denied an effort from Danny Levi who was ruled to have promoted the ball illegally whilst trying to ground the ball.
It didn't matter for the Sea Eagles who got on the board again when Daly Cherry-Evans was able to slice through some poor Eels defence to slice his way through to score and after Garrick converted the Sea Eagles lead 12-0.
The points kept continuing for Manly as Danny Levi made amends for his double movement as he crossed with some good work at dummy half to draw in the Eels defence to score and the score went out to 16-0.
Things began to move in favour of the Eels as they slowly were able to get some momentum but it still wasn't the Parramatta we'd been expecting. The Eels were eventually able to cross just after the half-hour mark when they finally got the ball out to their left side and Michael Jennings was able to cross in the corner.
Momentum was all with the Eels but the Sea Eagles were able to what would become a much needed try on the stroke of half time when Joel Thompson got the green lights from the bunker after chasing through a DCE grubber.
The second half was all Parramatta but still their attack wasn't their fluent best but a stroke of luck and a confusing bunker decision gave Parramatta a big chance of hitting back. The Eels struck on the scoreboard when Waqa Blake looked to have taken the ball from Martin Taupau in a 2 man tackle however, Steve Chiddy in the bunker ruled that as Taupau was looking to offload the ball, it was legal to take the ball from his grip and the try was awarded.
Manly still held a 14-point lead but it was anything but comfortable for the hosts as they continued to cough the ball up but Parramatta couldn't take the chances that came their way. The Eels had an effort knocked back by the bunker when Regan Campbell-Gillard lost the ball in trying to ground a Dylan Brown kick.
Parramatta though were able to get on the board twice more to push the game to a grandstand finish when Michael Jennings took advantage of the patchwork defence on the Manly left side before brother George Jennings scored in the dying seconds.
The Eels elected to not take the conversion giving themselves a chance to score to win it but Manly regathered the kick-off and sealed the victory.
Next weekend, the Manly Sea Eagles travel to Townsville to take on the Cowboys whilst Parramatta host the Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium on Thursday.