Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Manly Sea Eagles have moved into the top four after accounting for the Canberra Raiders 18-14 in a fast-finishing contest on Sunday afternoon.
Extending their run of dominance in Canberra to seven wins from their past nine visits, the Sea Eagles finished with 15 men to record an important victory played before 20,265 supporters at GIO Stadium.
In an absorbing opening half where points proved to be at a premium, both teams were denied tries within minutes of each other with Jack Wighton losing the ball in the act of scoring and Dylan Walker being pulled up for an obstruction at the opposite end.
Opening the scoring on the quarter hour mark, Jarrod Croker (19th minute) touched down following a lovely short ball from Elliott Whitehead to give the home side a 6-0 lead.
Taking the lead out beyond a converted try courtesy of a Croker penalty goal, the Sea Eagles were forced to count the cost of an injury toll that saw Moses Suli (ankle) and Joel Thompson (forearm) ruled out for the remainder of the match.
Denied a try earlier in the half following a courageous tackle from Croker, Reuben Garrick put the Sea Eagles on the board with a pair of penalty goals - including a 42-metre kick after the siren - to send the visitors to the sheds trailing 8-4.
Capitalising upon a Jorge Taufua error shortly after the resumption of play, Croker added a penalty to bring up 200 points in a season for the fifth time in his career.
In the turning point of the match, Jack Gosweiski produced a length of the field intercept to send Garrick (51st minute) over for an eight-point try after Joseph Leilua dropped his knees into the Sea Eagles' winger.
Appearing to extend their lead beyond a converted try only for Tom Trbojevic to lose the ball while grounding, older brother Jake (68th minute) stepped up with a decisive four-pointer to put the visitors up 18-10.
Setting up a grandstand finish after a dashing run from Wighton put Croker (71st minute) over for his second of the afternoon, the Sea Eagles overcame the sin binning of Morgan Boyle to hold on for a gutsy 18-14 win.
Next week the Raiders face the Sharks at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday afternoon, while the Sea Eagles host the Storm at Lottoland in a highly anticipated clash on Saturday evening.
Canberra Raiders 14 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18
Venue: GIO Stadium Canberra
Halftime Score: Canberra Raiders 8 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Addin Fonua-Blake
2 points - Reuben Garrick
1 points - Jack Wighton
CANBERRA RAIDERS (14)
Tries: Jarrod Croker (2)
Conversions: Jarrod Croker (1/2)
Penalty Goals: Jarrod Croker (2/2)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (18)
Tries: Reuben Garrick, Jake Trbojevic
Conversions: Reuben Garrick (2/2)
Penalty Goals: Reuben Garrick (3/3)