By Lars Roy at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 30-24, in a game that was moved from Brookvale Oval to Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
Despite a terrific start from the Bulldogs that saw them run in three tries within the first quarter of play, Manly ran away with 30 unanswered points, until two quick tries in the 74th and 78th minute by the Bulldogs closed the gap.
First points of the game went to Tautalatasi Tasi who crossed in the fifth minute, after a flick pass from Jaline Graham found the right-edge centre in space. The conversion attempt from the sideline by Patrick Templeman was successful, extending the Bulldogs lead to 6-0.
They shortly made it 10-0 when back-to-back penalties put the Dogs in good field position. Manly were unlucky however, after a grubber kick by Tyrone Phillips ricocheted, landing in the path of Kayne Brennan to score.
The Bulldogs continued to mount pressure on the back of unforced errors by the Sea Eagles, capitalising through Drury Low in the 22nd minute, which gave them a two-converted try lead.
Manly posted their first points five minutes before the break when Jayden Hodges scurried over after seeing some late-retrieving Bulldogs defence.
They went back-to-back right on half time through Clinton Gutherson, who crossed in the corner after supporting a terrific bust by Cheyse Blair. Both tries were converted, closing the gap to two points, with the score at 14-12 to the Bulldogs.
Manly continued where they left off, posting first points of the half through Delroy Berryman in the 48th minute and then through 18-year-old Zach Nicholls in the set after points.
Berryman picked up a second half double within 10 minutes, while Gutherson also crossed for his second try courtesy of a Nicholls pass.
The score had quickly blown out to 30-14 with 30 unanswered points being score by the Sea Eagles in almost as many minutes.
The Bulldogs however, finished the game how they started and unfortunately for them, their inconsistency in the middle stages of the game proved costly in the end.
The Dogs crossed in the 74th minute after a brilliant offload at the line by Lindon McGrady was eventually finished off by Chris Binge.
McGrady had a hand in the last try as well after throwing a 25 metre cut-out pass to Tyrone Phillips, who showed terrific pace to race down the western touchline for a try that gave the Dogs a glimmer of hope.
The conversion attempt from the sideline was waved away which left the final score at 30-24 to the Sea Eagles.
Both the Bulldogs and Sea Eagles seasons end there and despite the Bulldogs losing the last game, they finished 11th on the VB NSW Cup ladder which is one spot ahead of the Sea Eagles who are at 12th.
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 30 (C Gutherson 2, D Berryman 2, J Hodges, Z Nicholls tries; J Littlejohn 3 goals) def. Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 24 (T Tasi, K Brennan, D Low, C Binge, T Phillips tries; P Templeman 2 goals) at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.