Warriors overrun by Sea Eagles in Perth
Saturday 28 July 2012 9:30 PM
NRL ROUND 21 RESULT
MANLY SEA EAGLES 24
(D Cherry-Evans 2, J Taufua, D Williams, K Foran Tries; J Lyon 2/5 Goals)
VODAFONE WARRIORS 22
(K Locke, S Johnson, L Brown, M Vatuvei Tries; J Maloney 3/4 Goals)
At Patersons Stadium, Perth.
A brilliant first half wasn’t enough for the Vodafone Warriors who surrendered an 18 point lead to fall 24-22 to the Sea Eagles in Perth.
Starting the match beautifully, the Vodafone Warriors were unstoppable, with Feleti Mateo dominating from the outset.
In what was a ferocious start to the game, both sides attacked and defended with extraordinary fire in front of a vocal Western Australia crowd.
Whilst bone-rattling defence was the order early in the piece, the Vodafone Warriors were the first to strike in attack, with in-form back-row forward Feleti Mateo putting the ball on a platter for a hard running Kevin Locke. James Maloney made no mistake with the conversion, taking the score to 6-0 after eight minutes.
Injuries to Jason King and Konrad Hurrell forced reshuffles shortly after the try, however, it was the Vodafone Warriors who stayed in rhythm with live-wire halfback Shaun Johnson running off another Mateo pass to dive over next to the posts. Maloney stayed perfect with the boot increasing the score to 12-0 after 17 minutes.
An error from debut captain Manu Vatuvei gave the Sea Eagles their first major opportunity of the game, and the defending premiers looked very threatening, running numerous second man plays. The Manly men continued to attack the edges for the next ten minute period, dominating possession and territory, and although they got over the line, David Williams was called back, after committing a double movement whilst getting hit with a high tackle.
The missed opportunity cost the Sea Eagles with Vodafone Warriors showing nice resolve to get down the ground into nice attacking position. As had been the story with their other two visits to the Sea Eagles’ red zone, the Vodafone Warriors manufactured points, with Lewis Brown diving on a batted down Johnson cross-field kick to extend the Vodafone Warriors’ lead to 18-0 with eight minutes remaining in the first half.
It seemed the Vodafone Warriors would take their three try lead into the break, however, a brilliant piece of vision from Kieran Foran saw the five-eighth kick from his own half cross-field for Jorge Taufua. The winger was then unstoppable with a head of steam fending off two defenders to score a much needed Sea Eagles try as the half time siren sounded. Jamie Lyon converted the easy attempt bringing the score to 18-6, reducing the scoreline further.
Who was your Man of the Match? Vote in the Provan Summons Award here.
The second stanza started just as intense as the first, and in a similar fashion as well, with the Vodafone Warriors attacking from the outset. The Sea Eagles defended their own line well initially, however, the weight of possession led to a Manu Vatuvei try, with the huge winger timing his run beautifully to receive a Johnson cut-out pass. Maloney missed the sideline conversion to the right, leaving the score at 22-6 after just four minutes in the second half.
However, the Sea Eagles certainly weren’t done, and off the back of a penalty scored when given the opportunity at the Vodafone Warriors end. Jamie Lyon was the instigator in the try, running a nice line before cutting back off his left foot and passing to David Williams. Lyon couldn’t convert what he originally started missing narrowly to the right to leave the score at 22-10 with 25 minutes remaining.
The arm wrestle then followed, both sides attacking the fringes off the back of their forwards. The Vodafone Warriors were still controlling the match, however, a try to Kieran Foran closely followed by a sneaky effort from Daly Cherry-Evans had the Sea Eagles flying. Jamie Lyon missed both conversions but the match had become incredibly close with the Vodafone Warriors lead reduced to 22-18 with seven minutes remaining in the game.
With the intensity at a season high, both sides gave it absolutely everything. The match had almost turned into touch football with the amount of ball movement, and just when it seemed the Vodafone Warriors had secured victory, Daly Cherry-Evans was in again, latching onto a another chip kick from Foran to put the Sea Eagles in front 24-22 with the Lyon conversion.
However, a short regathered kickoff from the Vodafone Warriors gave them one last opportunity, but when David Williams punched away a Shaun Johnson kick, the Sea Eagles had won, a disappointing way to end a fantastic game from the Vodafone Warriors side.
Best for the Sea Eagles were Kieran Foran, Daly Cherry Evans and Glenn Stewart, while Best for the Vodafone Warriors were Feleti Mateo, Shaun Johnson and Elijah Taylor.
Vodafone Warriors: Konrad Hurrell (ankle).
Manly Sea Eagles: Jason King (rib).
K Locke, B Tupou, L Brown, K Hurrell, M Vatuvei (c), J Maloney, S Johnson, R Packer, N Friend, B Matulino, F Mateo, B Henry, E Taylor.
Bench: Sam Lousi, Sione Lousi, J Lillyman, Sebastine Ikahihifo.
MANLY SEA EAGLES
D Whare, J Taufua, J Lyon (c), S Matai, D Williams, K Foran, D Cherry-Evans, J King (c), M Ballin, B Kite, A Watmough, T Williams, G Stewart.
Bench: J Buhrer, J Galuvao, D Lussick, G Rose.
The Vodafone Warriors host the Sharks at Mt Smart Stadium in Round 22 with kick-off at 2:00pm on Sunday.