Full Time
7:50pm Thu July 8, 2021
Round 17 - 4 Pines Park

Match Overview

A man of the match performance from Sam Williams has seen the Canberra Raiders upset the Manly Sea Eagles 30-16 at 4 Pines Park on Thursday evening.

Crossing for a brace of tries and controlling play with a precise kicking game, the veteran playmaker was central to his side's first win on the Northern Beaches since 2016.

Given little hope of halting the Sea Eagles runaway momentum despite both side missing key players through Origin, the night started poorly for the visitors as makeshift halfback Dylan Walker (8th minute) opened the scoring with a try eerily similar to Jamal Fogarty's effort off a scrum last week.

Appearing to extend the lead after Brad Parker ran onto a beautiful pass from Kieran Foran, a desperate effort from Raiders debutant Xavier Savage managed to pry the ball free from Parker's grasp. 

Working their way back into the contest with a number of repeat sets, interchange hooker Tom Starling (28th minute) left the Sea Eagles grasping at thin air with an explosive run from dummy half.

Making the most of a run of possession to take a 12-4 lead into the break, Williams (35th minute) exposed the tiring defence with a dummy before strolling over to score underneath the posts.

Maintaining their intensity after the resumption of play, Williams (51st minute) crossed for his second with a determined run to put the visitors out beyond two converted tries. 

Securing the result following a bizarre passage of play involving a falcon, Sebastian Kris (56th minute) pounced on a Williams' kick that struck Moses Suli in the head, allowing the young centre to touch down for his sixth try of the season.

Posting their second try almost an hour after their first, Manly second-rower Haumole Olakau'atu (64th minute) made amends for an ill-conceived grubber with a powerful close-range charge before Suli (71st minute) set up a grandstand finish.

Capitalising on an error from Jason Saab inside the Sea Eagles' half, Emre Guler (75th minute) secured the result to lift the Raiders within striking distance of the top eight.

Next week, the Sea Eagles host the Dragons on Friday evening, while the Raiders will return home for a Saturday afternoon clash against the Sharks.

3. Sam Williams

Producing one of the performances of his career, the halfback crossed for two tries and dictated proceedings with his kicking game.

2. Josh Hodgson

Topping the tackle count for the victors, the hooker relished his role working in tandem with Tom Starling.

1. Joseph Tapine

Running for over 230 metres, the Kiwi international made a statement to suggest his days coming off the bench are numbered.