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South Sydney beats Brisbane Broncos 28-10 in NRL grudge match, Manly loses to Warriors


Stand-in South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou filled the temporary void left by Wayne Bennett’s breach of the NRL’s COVID-19 protocols by orchestrating a 28-10 win over Brisbane.

In cold and wet conditions at Sydney’s Olympic stadium, Demetriou took the reins with Bennett absent in the coaches’ box as the Rabbitohs added another layer to the Broncos’ miserable season, marred by 10 defeats in their past 11 matches.

The Rabbitohs had taken the field in Sydney’s west not long after learning Bennett had been fined $20,000 for breaching the NRL’s biosecurity guidelines he helped develop as a member of the Project Apollo committee.

Bennett was earlier banned for two weeks on Thursday after admitting to leaving the Rabbitohs’ bubble.

The Broncos had also been sanctioned on Friday, with three members of their training staff, including club legend Allan Langer, fined $5,000 for attending a private function in Brisbane, also in direct breach of the NRL’s strict rules.

The mood of the Broncos did not brighten in their grudge match against the Rabbitohs, with their darkest moments coming in defence as they conceded four tries.

The worst of it happened minutes before half-time when Rabbitohs replacement forward Mark Nicholls took a quick tap from 10 metres out and cruised through big men Payne Haas, Matt Lodge and Boyd to score.

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It was woefully soft defence from the Broncos, who had been in the contest before the unforgivable lapse in concentration.

In contrast, it was a composed performance by the Rabbitohs, steered by halves Cody Walker and Adam Reynolds.

The Rabbitohs’ tries were scored by Dane Gagai, Reynolds, Nicholls and Tom Burgess.

They move to provisional sixth position on the ladder on the back of their seventh win of the season.

Winger Herbie Farnworth and returning forward David Fifita crossed the stripe for the Broncos, who are placed second-last on the ladder.

The win would have been satisfying for Demetriou, who was a casualty of the coaching swap that saw Anthony Seibold replace Bennett at the Broncos in late 2018.

Demetriou, a Broncos assistant under Bennett at the time, interviewed for the job that was eventually given to former Rabbitohs coach Seibold.

He eventually followed Bennett to the Rabbitohs and is set to replace the seven-time premiership coach at Redfern as part of a succession plan at the end of the 2021 season.

The rivalry between the respective coaching staffs has only added to the heated feeling that has highlighted clashes between the Rabbitohs and Broncos in the past two seasons.

Manly goes down in upset loss to Warriors

Manly’s finals hopes took a hit after falling short of completing a late comeback against the Warriors in its 26-22 loss at Brookvale Oval.

In a brutal night for the Sea Eagles, they lost both Martin Taupau (concussion) and Addin Fonua-Blake (lower-leg cork) during the match.

The Sea Eagles, who sit one spot outside the top eight, have now lost five of their past seven matches since Tom Trbojevic was sidelined with a hamstring injury in round six.

Trbojevic is still two weeks away from making his return, while teammate Dylan Walker is facing another five rounds on the sidelines.

In Des Hasler’s 400th match as coach, it all went wrong for the Sea Eagles in a horror 18-minute opening where they conceded three tries and lost Fonua-Blake to injury.

Daly Cherry-Evans was again strong for Manly alongside Moses Suli, but not even the Kangaroos half-back could engineer a winning result after trailing 16-0 early.

Three Warriors NRL players celebrate a try scored against the Manly Sea Eagles in Sydney.
The Warriors scored five tries to four in the triumph over the Sea Eagles.(AAP: Joel Carrett)

The Warriors’ win, meanwhile, marked the first time they have won back-to-back matches since last May and they sit just two wins out of the top eight.

Kodi Nikorima and Chanel Harris-Tavita both kicked superbly close to the line, with four of their five tries coming off the pair’s boots.

Patrick Herbert bagged a double, with his first a diving effort to latch onto a Nikorima cross-field kick and score in the same motion.

But the Warriors’ win was not without its dramas.

Prop Jack Hetherington faces a lengthy stint on the sideline for a high shot that left Taupau concussed.

He was sin-binned but lucky not to be sent off, in a moment that threatened to blow the match wide open.

Manly took full advantage of the extra man, when Cade Cust put a charging Haumole Olakau’atu over from close distance with 22 minutes to play.

The margin was then down to four points with 12 minutes to play when Tevita Funa put Jorge Taufua over, after Cherry-Evans opted to run it on the last.

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Panthers destroy Manly 42-12 as Canberra Raiders and Sydney Roosters score NRL wins


Penrith made sure it will finish round 12 on top of the NRL ladder following a comprehensive 42-12 defeat of Manly at Brookvale Oval.

Earlier on Saturday, Canberra showed its class to sneak home with a 14-12 win over North Queensland, while the Sydney Roosters survived an almighty scare from Gold Coast to escape with an 18-12 triumph.

The Panthers skipped three points clear of Melbourne and Parramatta on the ladder, although the Storm and Eels will play their respective round-12 fixtures on Sunday.

Charlie Staines, playing just his second NRL match, scored two tries in 25 action-filled minutes before limping off the field with a hamstring injury.

Nathan Cleary also put on a masterclass, setting up two tries and scoring one of his own in the second half when he regathered his own grubber.

But Staines was the main attraction.

He became the first man since South Sydney’s Don Manson in 1937 to score six tries in his first two matches.

In the time since his four tries on debut last month, the winger has spent two weeks in quarantine after having too many visitors in his home and then visiting Nepean Hospital with lockjaw.

But while Penrith shot out of the blocks to a 22-0 lead after 30 minutes, it was an absolute horror show for Manly.

Dylan Walker left the field with a foot injury just 10 minutes into his return from an issue higher up in the same foot, while Curtis Sironen hurt his knee and Brad Parker suffered a concussion.

The loss drops the Sea Eagles back out of the top eight and with a crucial few weeks ahead before Tom Trbojevic’s planned return in three matches.

Meanwhile, the performance was one of the best of Penrith’s season, with the Panthers completing at 91 per cent and playing expansive football.

Staines opened the scoring when he got the ball down in a tight space on the right edge in the 10th minute, then Cleary gifted him with a perfect lofted ball for his second.

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Cleary kicked a 40-20 before another try before one of his grubbers rebounded into Penrith hands and Viliame Kikau put on an offload for Stephen Crichton to score.

Isaah Yeo, Api Koroisau and Brent Naden also claimed tries in the demolition job.

Cherry-Evans was clearly Manly’s best.

He put Jake Trbojevic over with an inside ball for their only first-half try and kicked for Jorge Taufua for one in the second.

He also somehow held Kikau up to save one and stopped another when he chased down Naden after running 80 metres from a Lachlan Croker intercept.

Raiders hang tough to win up north

It was far from the Raiders’ best performance but they did enough to edge a willing Cowboys outfit, with both teams scoring two tries in Townsville.

The Cowboys threw everything at their opponents but too often let themselves down with their kicking options.

Gunning for their third successive victory, the Raiders looked as if they were suffering jet lag early on after their long match-day flight to Canberra.

They were caught out just two minutes into the match when North Queensland hooker Reece Robson dashed over the line from dummy half.

The Raiders found their groove to level in the 18th minute when half-back George Williams started and finished a 70-metre try, helped by a big charge and fend by winger Nick Cotric.

A 35th-minute penalty strike by captain Jarrod Croker allowed his team to take an 8-6 lead to half-time.

A North Queensland NRL player is tackled by three Canberra Raiders opponents.
Cowboys forward Jordan McLean tries to find a way through the Raiders defence.(AAP: Cameron Laird)

Canberra prop Josh Papalii was both hero and villain within two minutes, stripping the ball but then being placed on report for a forearm to the head of the Cowboys’ teenage full-back Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Cowboys skipper Jason Taumalolo steamed to the try line to put his side up but it was short-lived with the Raiders hitting back four minutes later.

England international John Bateman, playing his first match of the year after two rounds of shoulder surgery, found Curtis Scott, who fended off winger Murray Taulagi to score.

Sharpshooter Croker then showed his value, nailing the conversion from the sideline to put his side ahead again.

The final 12 minutes saw four captains’ challenges, with the Cowboys correct with both but they couldn’t find the points for a win or to take the match into golden point.

Roosters deny gutsy Titans

In an action-packed match laced with drama at the sCG, the Roosters overcame their crippling injury toll to preserve their place in the top four thanks largely to the heroics of classy centre Joseph Manu.

Already missing eight players from their 2019 grand final-winning outfit and with superstar signing Sonny Bill Williams holed up in quarantine, the Roosters lost try-scoring ace Josh Morris to a calf strain before this afternoon’s kick-off.

Fortunately the back-to-back premiers had Manu, whose leaping 58th-minute try and miracle first-half try saver on Phillip Sami saved the Roosters embarrassment.

The Titans could have bagged four first-half tries but had to settle for only one after blowing two and seeing Manu pull off his incredible rescue act before the break.

Jamal Fogarty was also denied a try in just the second minute, the half-back touching down only for the bunker to rule Titans teammate Brian Kelly had passed him the ball off the ground.

A Sydney Roosters NRL player tackles a Gold Coast Titans opponent holding the ball around the chest area.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend (left) tries to bring down Gold Coast lock Jai Arrow.(AAP: Dean Lewins)

But there was no denying Anthony Don eight minutes later when the prolific winger started and finished his own 75-metre effort.

After scrambling for much of the half, somehow the Roosters went to the break with a 10-6 advantage after half-back Kyle Flanagan added two penalties to his conversion of Mitch Aubusson’s try.

The Titans were reduced to 12 men for a second time in the match when Keegan Hipgrave was sin-binned for taking out Lindsay Collins.

The Roosters’ claims for a penalty try were denied but Flanagan’s two points made it 12-6 before Manu soared high to reel in Luke Keary’s cross-field bomb.

That appeared to seal the deal before Sami crossed with five minutes remaining to give Roosters fans a tense finish.

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Manly Sea Eagles score 24-12 NRL victory over North Queensland Cowboys



North Queensland has started life without former coach Paul Green on a losing note, as Manly moved into the top eight with a 24-12 win over the Cowboys in Townsville.

Green, who coached the Cowboys to their only NRL premiership in 2015, departed the club last Monday after a disappointing start to the season and the home side showed plenty of heart under his interim replacement Josh Hannay.

But they could not do enough to secure their fourth win of the season, with Addin Fonua-Blake making his mark for Manly in his first appearance since he was suspended for two matches and fined $20,000 by the NRL for abusing a referee earlier this month.

Fonua-Blake topped 200 run metres, while Martin Taupau was also dominant up front for Manly, who rose to seventh on the ladder via the win.

Barred from playing in Queensland a week ago due to their vaccination policy, Fonua-Blake only met the State Government’s requirements this week.

He finished the match with four tackle busts, with 93 of his metres coming post-contact and all but six of the Sea Eagles’ points coming while he was on the field.

Cade Cust was also superb for Manly at five-eighth.

He put Manly on the front foot early with a forced drop-out, before Daly Cherry-Evans backed it up with another and put Curtis Sironen over from the ensuing set.

And after both teams traded tries to make it 12-6 at half-time, Cust pulled off the two decisive plays of the second half.

His first came in the 59th minute when he broke downfield and put Cherry-Evans over, despite a desperate effort from winger Kyle Feldt to hold him up between the posts.

Cust sealed the match eight minutes later when he dummied through the line from 10 metres out to cross.

The win did come at a cost for Manly, though, with Joel Thompson leaving the field early with an ankle injury.

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Newcastle beats Manly 14-12 after fiery finish at Brookvale, South Sydney beats Canterbury Bulldogs 26-10


Newcastle have held on for a controversial 14-12 win over Manly, claiming just their fourth-ever victory at Brookvale.

With just one man on the bench at full-time, the Knights withstood a glut of Sea Eagles possession in the second half to move into the top four.

But the win was shrouded in controversy, with Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake sent off after the full-time siren for dissent.

With the Knights leading by two points on the siren, Manly spread the ball right from within their own half as Tevita Funa broke down field.

The winger grubbered for himself from 20 metres out but appeared to be taken to the ground by Tex Hoy and Bradman Best after kicking.

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Referee Grant Atkins referred the play upstairs, bunker official Jared Maxwell ruled no penalty and full-time was blown — drawing anger from a number of Manly players.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans attempted to have the decision taken back to the bunker for a captain’s challenge, but was denied.

The late drama overshadowed a gutsy win by the Knights.

Kalyn Ponga was one of three players to finish the match off the field for the Knights, taken for a HIA after falling awkwardly in a contest for the ball.

In a second half that contrasted with the first, Manly had 61 per cent of possession and had 22 tackles in the Knights’ red zone.

But they could muster just one try, desperately missing backline stars Dylan Walker and Tom Trbojevic in attack as they collected a second consecutive loss without them.

Playmaker Walker is hopeful of being back in a fortnight against Parramatta, while full-back Trbojevic is expected to be sidelined for up to another six weeks with his hamstring issue.

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Manly’s only second-half try came when Cherry-Evans helped Cade Cust burst through from close to the line from a Curtis Sironen offload in the 67th minute.

Otherwise, the Knights were resolute.

With Sione Mata’utia concussed and Edrick Lee suffering a broken wrist, the Knights played the majority of the match with 15 men.

Andrew McCullough made 48 tackles while David Klemmer ran 188 metres and fellow prop Daniel Saifiti managed 164.

The Knights had earlier dominated the ball in the first half, capitalising on the first Cherry-Evans sin bin of his career for a professional foul to score eight points while he was off the field.

Their first try to McCullough came after Sironen was penalised for picking the ball up in the second row at the back of a five-man scrum.

Cherry-Evans got his revenge when he came back on the field, stepping and jinking his way through the line to score after Daniel Saifiti rushed up.

But the Knights took an eight-point lead to the break when Kurt Mann juggled a Mitchell Pearce kick out of Cherry-Evans’ grasp to score what proved a crucial try.

Rabbitohs down the Bulldogs

A grinning NRL player gets a hug from a teammate after scoring a try.
Alex Johnston scored one of South Sydney’s four tries in a 26-10 win over the Bulldogs.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

Canterbury put up a valiant fight but could not end its NRL losing streak, extending it to four games as they fell to South Sydney 26-10 on Sunday night.

Down just two points at halftime, the Bulldogs remained in the battle but could not overcome a Rabbitohs side that showed more polish at Parramatta Stadium.

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It took just four minutes for Rabbitohs winger Alex Johnston to make one of his trademark blitzes down the sideline, scoring after a 60-metre dash from a Latrell Mitchell pass.

Dean Pay’s men have lacked polish in 2020 but they haven’t been short on bravery.

Souths went into the sheds up by just a penalty as the Bulldogs refused to roll over — Marcelo Montoya scoring a clever try in the 36th minute.

There were danger signs when Souths started the second half with a quick try, but they switched off again and let the Dogs back into the fight.

After Jaydn Su’a collected a grubber from Adam Reynolds for Souths’ second try in the 42nd minute, the Dogs marched up the field and Raymond Faitala-Mariner returned serve.

They were back within four points but not for long as full-back Dallin Watene-Zelezniak coughed up possession in Bulldogs territory and Cody Walker scored in the next set.

A burrowing try to Walker from close to the line with 20 minutes to go put the result to bed.

Dane Gagai’s runaway try in the final minute was a cherry on top of the win and his 50th in the NRL.

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The Bulldogs will now face a desperate Brisbane side at Lang Park on Saturday, while South Sydney will take on Wests Tigers on Friday night.

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Wests Tigers beat NRL strugglers Canterbury 34-6, Cronulla claims 40-22 victory over Manly


The Wests Tigers have reeled off three wins in a row for the first time under coach Michael Maguire after trampling over Canterbury 34-6 at Western Sydney Stadium.

In what was arguably the Tigers’ best performance of the season, wingers David Nofoaluma and Tommy Talau shone with two tries each.

The victory lifts the Tigers to sixth spot on the ladder, and goes a long way to justifying Maguire’s decision to axe Benji Marshall and Chris Lawrence in recent weeks.

The win also marked Maguire’s 100th NRL win as a coach, while Bulldogs counterpart Dean Pay will again come under pressure for their latest heavy defeat.

The Bulldogs remain rooted to the bottom of the ladder with just one win.

Pay’s men were barely in the contest from the moment they lost Will Hopoate to an ankle injury in just the fourth minute.

And while they scored the opening points through Reimis Smith in the 18th minute, the Tigers replied almost instantly through Harry Grant.

The Tigers were rarely threatened thereafter, taking the lead when Talau made the most of a dropped Luke Brooks bomb to post his first career try.

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The four-pointer came 22 years after his father and former Bulldogs centre, Willie, scored the first try of his career against Western Suburbs.

Tigers centre Joey Leilua made it a two-try lead at the break when he crashed over from close range, before Talau produced the highlight of the night.

The 20-year-old had almost his entire body airborne over the sideline but planted just inside the corner post with his left hand for a memorable moment.

The Bulldogs were cannon fodder for rest of the match, with Nofoaluma putting their opposition away with two tries in the space of seven minutes.

The first came when he intercepted a Kieran Foran pass to race 30 metres, before he finished off a Luke Brooks line break in the 61st minute.

Tigers fullback Adam Doueihi, who was denied twice in the second half, put the finishing touches on with their seventh try in the 74th minute.

Sharks decimate undermanned Sea Eagles

Cronulla overturned one of the biggest hoodoos in the NRL, scoring a thumping 40-22 win over Manly in Gosford.

It was just the third time in 12 years the Sharks tasted victory over the Sea Eagles but they looked a class above in miserable conditions this afternoon at Central Coast Stadium.

And while the Sea Eagles were without stars Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker, their defence did not shape up against a Sharks spine that found its groove.

Shaun Johnson, Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend all set up tries in the first half to lead 18-6 at the break and — between them — had a hand in all seven of the Sharks’ four-pointers.

Townsend had the best of them in the 54th minute with a miraculous catch and pass while falling, setting flying winger Sione Katoa up for his second try of the match.

Katoa’s put-down while in the air was inch-perfect, demonstrating the skills which had landed him eight tries from seven matches this season.

Cronulla NRL players surround a teammate to celebrate his try as a Manly opponent looks on in the background.
The Sharks celebrated seven tries against the undermanned Sea Eagles.(AAP: Brendon Thorne)

The Sea Eagles had won 17 of their past 19 matches against Cronulla dating back to 2008 for the equal-best winning record of any NRL team against any opponent.

Nothing went right for Des Hasler’s side in Gosford, however, as they struggled to find potency in attack without their full-back Trbojevic scoring or setting up tries.

Before Sunday, Trbojevic had set up or scored 11 of Manly’s 14 tries this season and with the Australia international sidelined with a hamstring injury for another two months, the Sea Eagles will need to look elsewhere for their points.

Addin Fonua-Blake, Jorge Taufua and Tevita Funa were the lone try scorers for the Sea Eagles, the former scoring through lax defence twice in the second half.

The Sharks opened the match in the 14th minute when Braden Hamlin-Uele burst onto a short ball from Townsend close to the line.

Manly hit back shortly after when stand-in five-eighth Lachlan Croker set up Taufua on the wing, but the energy went out of the Sea Eagles soon afterwards.

The win was the third of 2020 for the Sharks and their first back-to-back, raising hope their season can recover from early challenges.

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Cronulla Sharks claim rare NRL victory over Manly Sea Eagles, winning 40-22



Cronulla overturned one of the biggest hoodoos in the NRL, scoring a thumping 40-22 win over Manly in Gosford.

It was just the third time in 12 years the Sharks tasted victory over the Sea Eagles but they looked a class above in miserable conditions this afternoon at Central Coast Stadium.

And while the Sea Eagles were without stars Tom Trbojevic and Dylan Walker, their defence did not shape up against a Sharks spine that found its groove.

Shaun Johnson, Matt Moylan and Chad Townsend all set up tries in the first half to lead 18-6 at the break and — between them — had a hand in all seven of the Sharks’ four-pointers.

Townsend had the best of them in the 54th minute with a miraculous catch and pass while falling, setting flying winger Sione Katoa up for his second try of the match.

Katoa’s put-down while in the air was inch-perfect, demonstrating the skills which had landed him eight tries from seven matches this season.

The Sea Eagles had won 17 of their past 19 matches against Cronulla dating back to 2008 for the equal-best winning record of any NRL team against any opponent.

Nothing went right for Des Hasler’s side in Gosford, however, as they struggled to find potency in attack without their full-back Trbojevic scoring or setting up tries.

Before Sunday, Trbojevic had set up or scored 11 of Manly’s 14 tries this season and with the Australia international sidelined with a hamstring injury for another two months, the Sea Eagles will need to look elsewhere for their points.

Addin Fonua-Blake, Jorge Taufua and Tevita Funa were the lone try scorers for the Sea Eagles, the former scoring through lax defence twice in the second half.

The Sharks opened the match in the 14th minute when Braden Hamlin-Uele burst onto a short ball from Townsend close to the line.

Manly hit back shortly after when stand-in five-eighth Lachlan Croker set up Taufua on the wing, but the energy went out of the Sea Eagles soon afterwards.

The win was the third of 2020 for the Sharks and their first back-to-back, raising hope their season can recover from early challenges.

They will next play Gold Coast in Queensland, while Manly host Newcastle next Sunday.

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Manly beats Canberra 14-6 at Campbelltown, Cronulla beats the Bulldogs 20-18 at Western Sydney Stadium


Tom Trbojevic’s troublesome hamstring has let him down again, with the Dally M Medal leader limping from the field in Manly’s gutsy 14-6 NRL win over Canberra.

Trbojevic and Dylan Walker were two of three Sea Eagles injured in the win, as the full-back limped from Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday in the 52nd minute.

Trbojevic injured the same hamstring twice last year, once in the pre-season and in the early rounds which led to him missing half of the 2019 campaign.

Early diagnosis from the Sea Eagles suggested their star full-back would spend around six weeks on the sidelines with the latest blow.

His injury headlined a hard afternoon for Manly on the injury front, with Trbojevic having a hand in both Sea Eagles tries in the first half before going off.

It came, though, in one of the gutsiest wins in Manly’s history, after they had just two on the bench from the fourth minute and one for most of the second half.

Already without Martin Taupau, Moses Suli and Jorge Taufua before the match, they lost Walker to an ankle injury and Brad Parker to concussion in the opening stages.

An NRL player lies on the ground injured as his teammate and a trainer check on him during a game.
Dylan Walker joined the injury list at Manly after spraining his ankle inside the first five minutes against Canberra.(AAP: Craig Golding)

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Walker’s injury appeared to be a high ankle sprain, which will also likely result in him spending some time on the sidelines.

Lachlan Croker also played on and impressed after a head clash, making a tackle on his own line from the next play with blood spurting out of his eye socket.

And after leading 12-0 at the break, they still had to fight off the Raiders in the second half with two second-rowers defending in the centres to finish the match.

One of those — Curtis Sironen — pulled off arguably the most-important play of the game, putting Jordan Rapana into touch as he looked to score with 10 minutes to play.

Moments later, he again shut down Jack Wighton on the last tackle, as Canberra again had numbers on the left.

After Elliott Whitehead scored Canberra’s first try in the 50th minute from some smart hands from Wighton, the Raiders had their chances.

Jarrod Croker was denied, ruled to have knocked on when he came down with a George Williams bomb just short of the line.

Manly kicked a crucial penalty goal when Canberra were pinged for offside on their own line with 24 minutes to play to extend their lead to eight points.

Earlier, Trbojevic had Manly’s first try in the 14th minute when he sliced through Canberra’s defence on the left edge and pushed his way over the line.

Just before half-time, he put a ball on Tevita Funa’s chest for the winger to cut back in and go between two defenders to make it 12-0.

Sharks down Bulldogs in bottom four matchup

A group of NRL players congratulate their teammate after a tryscoring move.
A hat-trick of tries to Sione Katoa (L) helped Cronulla get its second win of the season.(AAP: David Neilson)

Dean Pay’s chances of securing an extension at Canterbury have been dealt another blow, with the Bulldogs falling short 20-18 to Cronulla at Western Sydney Stadium.

Sharks winger Sione Katoa claimed his first career hat-trick, while Matt Moylan also came through unscathed to breathe life into the Sharks’ NRL campaign.

Halves Shaun Johnson and Chad Townsend also had two try assists each on Sunday evening to consign the Bulldogs to their fifth defeat from their opening six games.

Two weeks after his team bought Pay some time with their first win of the season, the off-contract coach will again be under pressure to earn a new deal.

The Sharks looked home when Bryson Goodwin, in his first game back at the club, scored to give his team an eight-point lead with 12 minutes to go.

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However, a 95-metre intercept try to Bulldogs winger Christian Crichton set up a thrilling finish, only for Cronulla to hold on for a tense victory.

John Morris’ side leap to within two points of the top eight in 11th spot.

The Bulldogs showed plenty of grit from the opening exchanges, conceding just one try in the opening 20 minutes despite being pinned on their own line.

Cronulla’s kick-and-chase game was on point, dominating territory with an early 25-2 advantage in plays inside the opposition half.

An acrobatic Katoa try in the corner was their only reward, as Canterbury, led by Will Hopoate, ground their way back into the contest.

Minutes after wearing a jolting hit from Jesse Ramien, Hopoate was on the end of a neatly worked set piece to draw level at half-time.

Katoa reclaimed the lead for the Sharks when he made a mockery of the wet conditions to pick up a low cutout pass from Johnson in the 48th minute.

The game cranked up a gear when Wakeham, a late insertion for Lachlan Lewis, was sin-binned soon after for a hit on Josh Dugan.

A grounded Dugan was being dragged to the sideline when Wakeham speared into him, an act deemed unnecessary by the referee.

Katoa completed his hat-trick when he pounced on a Johnson grubber.

Four-pointers to Kieran Foran and Crichton gave the Bulldogs some hope, but it wasn’t enough to prevent another close defeat.

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Manly beats Canberra 14-6 at Campbelltown but Sea Eagles full-back Tom Trbojevic injures hamstring


Tom Trbojevic’s troublesome hamstring has let him down again, with the Dally M Medal leader limping from the field in Manly’s gutsy 14-6 NRL win over Canberra.

Trbojevic and Dylan Walker were two of three Sea Eagles injured in the win, as the full-back limped from Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday in the 52nd minute.

Trbojevic injured the same hamstring twice last year, once in the pre-season and in the early rounds which led to him missing half of the 2019 campaign.

Early diagnosis from the Sea Eagles suggested their star full-back would spend around six weeks on the sidelines with the latest blow.

His injury headlined a hard afternoon for Manly on the injury front, with Trbojevic having a hand in both Sea Eagles tries in the first half before going off.

It came, though, in one of the gutsiest wins in Manly’s history, after they had just two on the bench from the fourth minute and one for most of the second half.

Already without Martin Taupau, Moses Suli and Jorge Taufua before the match, they lost Walker to an ankle injury and Brad Parker to concussion in the opening stages.

An NRL player lies on the ground injured as his teammate and a trainer check on him during a game.
Dylan Walker joined the injury list at Manly after spraining his ankle inside the first five minutes against Canberra.(AAP: Craig Golding)

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Walker’s injury appeared to be a high ankle sprain, which will also likely result in him spending some time on the sidelines.

Lachlan Croker also played on and impressed after a head clash, making a tackle on his own line from the next play with blood spurting out of his eye socket.

And after leading 12-0 at the break, they still had to fight off the Raiders in the second half with two second-rowers defending in the centres to finish the match.

One of those — Curtis Sironen — pulled off arguably the most-important play of the game, putting Jordan Rapana into touch as he looked to score with 10 minutes to play.

Moments later, he again shut down Jack Wighton on the last tackle, as Canberra again had numbers on the left.

After Elliott Whitehead scored Canberra’s first try in the 50th minute from some smart hands from Wighton, the Raiders had their chances.

Jarrod Croker was denied, ruled to have knocked on when he came down with a George Williams bomb just short of the line.

Manly kicked a crucial penalty goal when Canberra were pinged for offside on their own line with 24 minutes to play to extend their lead to eight points.

Earlier, Trbojevic had Manly’s first try in the 14th minute when he sliced through Canberra’s defence on the left edge and pushed his way over the line.

Just before half-time, he put a ball on Tevita Funa’s chest for the winger to cut back in and go between two defenders to make it 12-0.

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Manly comes from 18 points down to beat Brisbane Broncos 20-18 in Gosford



Manly has compounded Brisbane’s misery by coming from 18-0 down to beat the Broncos 20-18 in a NRL thriller on the New South Wales Central Coast.

After the Sea Eagles claimed the lead with 10 minutes remaining, fullback Tom Trbojevic pulled off the match-defining play in the final two minutes on Thursday night to deny 19-year-old Broncos winger Xavier Coates, who looked set to score.

It capped off a stunning comeback from Manly, who came within inches last week of pulling off a similar come-from-behind win against Parramatta.

It continued the Broncos’ horror run.

Anthony Seibold’s side looked set to rebound from last round’s 59-0 loss to the Sydney Roosters after scoring three-unanswered tries in the first half-hour.

With limited fans welcomed back into corporate boxes, Manly’s lucky 80 members would have wished their invitation had been lost in the mail at that point.

But it was then that the game turned.

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Brisbane’s edge defence again turned flimsy as all three of the Sea Eagles’ tries were run in untouched.

After he was terrorised by Coates early, Manly debutant Tevita Funa began the comeback when Tom Trbojevic put him over with a quick-fire cut-out ball on the left wing in the 37th minute to make the score 18-4 at half-time.

Despite being without front-rower Martin Taupau from the opening minutes with a broken thumb, the Eagles completed at 96 per cent after half-time and led the penalty count 8-0.

Manly put themselves right back in the match when Daly Cherry-Evans crossed untouched on the back of a sweeping left-edge movement.

And they had it back to a two-point deficit when Dylan Walker had Darius Boyd rush up in defence, allowing Tom Trbojevic to put Moses Suli over with ease to make it 18-16.

Two consecutive penalty goals then gave the Sea Eagles the lead.

Reuben Garrick kicked his first when Coates needlessly took out Joel Thompson on a kick-chase with 16 minutes to play to level the scores.

Brisbane challenged and lost the appeal, a move they would live to regret moments later when Patrick Carrigan was penalised with nine minutes to play.

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The call was a harsh one against the Brisbane forward when he stripped the ball after held had been called.

Earlier, Brisbane had made a clear effort to target debutant Funa with Coates leaping high above him regularly.

They bombed for Coates five times in the first half, with the first resulting in him getting the ball back for Kotoni Staggs to kick for himself and score.

Coates did the work himself for the Broncos’ second.

Again, he leapt over Funa to come down and score and make it 12-0 after 18 minutes.

Boyd crossed twice on the left edge, only for the second effort to be denied for an obstruction.

Meanwhile Ben Te’o played limited minutes on his Broncos return, running just once for nine metres in a short cameo in the second row.

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Parramatta holds off Manly to win 19-16 in controversial NRL finish


Manly has been denied a thrilling final-minute win over Parramatta after controversially being pulled up for a forward pass late in its 19-16 loss this evening.

After they trailed 18-6 early in the second half, the Sea Eagles worked the margin back to three with three minutes to play at the Western Sydney Stadium.

They looked to have the match won when Tom Trbojevic put Rueben Garrick over the line from 20 metres out, only for referee Ben Cummins to rule the pass forward.

Replays appeared to show the ball had gone backwards out of the hand before travelling forward in the air, making it a legal play.

Eels half-back Mitchell Moses said he believed the ball was “100 per cent” forward.

“It happens, it’s rugby league,” Moses told ABC Grandstand.

A Manly NRL player grounds the ball across the try line while being tackled by two Parramatta players.
Reuben Garrick appeared to have snatched victory for the Sea Eagles in the 80th minute.(AAP: Dan Himbrechts)

The call overshadowed what was a real litmus test for the Eels in the first match against another genuine contender this season.

The win kept the Eels atop the ladder, with their best start to a season in 31 years and just the fourth time in their history they have gone 4-0 to start the competition.

Maika Sivo was the star as he set up two first-half tries with offloads, before Moses held his nerve with a late field goal.

Usually renowned for his bullocking runs, Sivo twice showed nice hands to give the Eels two unanswered tries in the opening 40.

The first came when he popped one back to Michael Jennings in the 31st minute just as Trbojevic looked to have made a try-saving tackle on the line.

Nine minutes later he was in the action again to give the Eels a 12-2 half-time lead.

Moving to centre for a nicely-worked centre-field scrum play, he threw a one-handed offload for Dylan Brown to cross.

And when Kane Evans made the most of a Manly error in the first set after the break to make it 18-2, it looked as if the Eels had the game on ice.

It was then the Sea Eagles awoke.

Tom Trbojevic put Jorge Taufua over from a mid-field scrum to reduce the margin to 12, before Dylan Walker ran it on the last to make it 18-12 with 26 minutes to play.

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After Moses nailed a field goal with seven minutes remaining to make it 19-12, Taufua barged over again in the 76th minute to make it a three-point game.

The Sea Eagles again had all the running in the final minute, before Trbojevic’s ball was called forward just as Garrick forced his way over the line.

Meanwhile, Cronulla overcame a major drama before its match against North Queensland, with six players failing initial temperature tests in Townsville.

The group, including five-eighth Matt Moylan, all recorded temperatures in excess of the 37.2 degrees Celsius limit set as part of NRL biosecurity protocols.

But the players all passed a subsequent test and were cleared to play against the Cowboys.

AAP/ABC



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