Four Pointer: Manly Sea Eagles 21 Canberra Raiders 20
It was a close game of sheer brilliance, with both the Raiders and the Sea Eagles playing with intensity, both having periods of dominance over their opposition. After a long eighty minute match, it was Jarrod Croker who took it to golden point, where Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans sealed the deal for his side in front of a home crowd at Lottoland.
So Close, Yet So Far
It was almost a fairy tale ending for the Raiders, who would have just found themselves in the top eight on the competition ladder, however the ability of the Sea Eagles and the leadership of their captain put the match to bed in the golden point portion of the match. Both sides had periods of dominance, however the Manly Sea Eagles managed to carry momentum throughout the match, which eventually won them the game. The first half an hour of the match was even, before Manly scored three consecutive tries leading into half time. Coming back from the half time break, the Raiders were stronger, with Rapana scoring the second try for the visitors, building their momentum that they carried until their set in the golden point period where an error was made.
The Sea Eagles Were Too Strong
The statistics of the match suggest an even match between both the Raiders and the Sea Eagles, with aspects in both defence and attack being close – this however excludes the completion rate, which was significantly dominated by the Manly team, who made only eight errors as opposed to the Raiders’ 14. However, on field, the Sea Eagles looked more dominant for the majority of the match, which was of paramount importance, and eventually got them the two points, securing them in sixth position on the NRL ladder. Captain and halfback Daly-Cherry Evans starred in the win, and deservingly was awarded man of the match. He scored a try for himself, had an assist in a try and in a line break, as well as scoring the winning field goal in front of a home crowd. His confidence and his abilities in communication are a fundamental aspect of the side, and contributed successfully to the win on Sunday afternoon.
Despite being part of the losing side, winger Jordan Rapana was one of the best players on the field throughout the entire match, scoring two tries, and making one try assist. His line breaks, tackle breaks and offloads contributed to the points that the Raiders were able to accumulate during the match, although they fell just short. He ran the most metres of anyone in the game, running for a total of 254 metres in 21 runs. He and centre Joseph Leilua were once again outstanding, having paramount importance on the game. Together they assisted Blake Austin in putting Canberra’s first points on the board, who scored a try in the sixteenth minute. Rapana has been one of the stars for the Raiders all season, and this was shown throughout their match on Sunday afternoon, despite it resulting in a loss, which moved the Raiders just outside of the top eight, following Parramatta.
‘It’s a Bit of a Rivalry’
It’s the second time that these two sides have battled it out this season, following their clash in Round 8, when the Sea Eagles won by only two points at GIO Stadium on a Friday evening. That game was of a similar ‘structure,’ with the momentum and dominance swinging both ways, and eventually resulting in a Manly win. This was the same again on Sunday afternoon, and these two clubs have always had close battles, and are even in the matches that the sides have won and lost against each other. Following the match, captain Daly Cherry-Evans was interviewed after receiving the man of the match award. During the interview, he told Andy Raymond and FOX League that he believed the competition between these two clubs is “becoming some what a bit of a rivalry. They’re few and far between these days…so it’s good to have that in rugby league.” Cherry-Evans credited the Canberra Raiders outfit, and said that he and the club enjoy playing them and that he enjoys the rivalry that they share, making it an interesting match up for NRL fans.
Manly Sea Eagles
Tries: Dylan Walker, Martin Taupau, Jorge Taufua Daly Cherry-Evans
Goals: Matthew Wright 2
Field Goal: Daly Cherry-Evans
Tries: Blake Austin, Jordan Rapana 2
Goals: Jarrod Croker 4