A Lachlan Ilias field goal in golden point has secured a much needed victory on an emotional night for the South Sydney club, as they honoured iconic club legend John Sattler, who passed away during the week.
The game was played largely in the middle for the whole 82 minutes with both sets of forwards getting through a mountain of work.
Souths opened the scoring in the 23rd minute in remarkable fashion when Cody Walker chased a kick that Tom Trbojevic followed and was allowing to roll dead, but just before it did, Walker got a finger on the ball just in time before the ball went dead and scored an amazing try. Latrell Mitchell converted.
Manly hit back just 2 minutes later when Daly Cherry-Evans put up a shallow cross-field kick which Haumole Olakau'atu caught brilliantly with one hand before falling over the line to score a great try. Reuben Garrick converted to level the scores.
Manly looked to have added another good try just 2 minutes later, but only for the referee to controversially rule that one of the passes in the lead-up was forward.
Things briefly got heated just 3 minutes before halftime, but everything was quickly settled and play resumed. Souths went on the attack in the final minute of the half before Cherry-Evans rushed up out of the line and took a perfectly timed intercept on halfway and then raced all the way to score a good try. Garrick again converted.
At halftime Manly lead 12-6.
Manly came out looking the better of the two sides but they were soon put on the backfoot when Cody Waler sliced through the defensive line on the left side and muscled his way over the line to score a strong solo try. Mitchell very narrowly missed the sideline conversion.
Mitchell though kicked a penalty goal in the 66th minute to level the scores. From this pint on both sides were defensively brilliant, but their attack, outside of their forwards who were tremendous, failed to produce repeat sets or points.
In the 78th minute Latrell Mitchell had a shot at field goal but it was a poor strike and missed. Cherry-Evans then had a shot with 3 seconds remaining in the game but Damien Cook charged it down.
Souths kicked off in golden point and on the third tackle, Josh Aloiai dropped a pass deep inside the Manly half.
A poor pass to Mitchell on the third tackle meant he had to abort his field goal attempt. Two passes later, he was set for a shot, but the ball went to Lachlan Ilias who struck his kick sweetly and nailed the match winner in the 82nd minute.