Full Time
3:00pm Sat April 1, 2023
Round 5 - Glen Willow Regional Stadium, Mudgee / Wiradjuri - Crowd: 9024

Match Overview

Manly and Newcastle have played out a tantalising 32-all draw in Mudgee this afternoon, after an absorbing Golden Point period produced no points.

Signs were ominous early in Mudgee, with the Sea Eagles shooting out to a 10-0 lead in as many minutes, Haumole Olakau'atu and Christian Tuipulotu catching the Newcastle defence short.

The Knights eventually had some attacking footy and put it to good use, with Leo Thompson coming within touching distance of a try, which was then referred to the Bunker and saw Olakau'atu sin-binned for a professional foul, the opening tryscorer of the game having held Thompson back in the chase for the ball.

With a one-man advantage, Newcastle turned on the flair with tries to Greg Marzhew and Jack Johns levelling things up at 10-all after 20 minutes.

It looked like things had turned sour again for Newcastle not long after when Lachlan Fitzgibbon was given a 10-minute spell for high contact, but his teammates were having none of it, Dom Young scoring to put the visitors into the lead for the first time in the contest.

The sides traded tries over the following ten minutes - Brad Parker taking advantage of space on the left to level things for Manly, then Young bagged his second of the afternoon at the 33-minute mark to reclaim the lead for the Knights.

After points came at a breakneck speed in the first half, it was much slower going in the second half. Young picked up his hat-trick try, pushing the visiting side out to a 12-point lead approaching the hour mark.

Manly weren't done though - three tries in the space of ten minutes saw them go from 12 points behind to four points ahead. Kelma Tuilagi taking advantage of some poor Newcastle right-side defence for the first of them, before Kaeo Weekes ducked through a gap in the middle to level things - then with ten to go, Reuben Garrick went over in the corner for a 32-28 lead.

Manly looked confident to hold that lead until Weekes conceded a penalty and from that set, just 2 minutes from the end of regulation time, Dom Young picked up his fourth try of the afternoon.

With scores locked at 32-all after 80 minutes, golden point was next. For Manly it would be the second time in as many weeks, while Newcastle's long record in golden point games stood against them.

The first five minutes saw - incredibly - no field goal attempts. Both teams opted for high kicks or, in the case of the final moment before changing ends, running it. Attempts came thick and fast in the following five minutes but neither side could pierce the posts or the line, sharing the spoils 32-all.

3. Haumole Olakau'atu

2. Dominic Young

1. Greg Marzhew