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Lachy MacCorquodale reviews the Round 12 clash between the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles and the Penrith Panthers. Here’s how the game went.

MATCH TIMELINE

Minute Scoring Play Score
7th Try Charlie Staines (Penrith) Penrith 4-0
16th Try Isaah Yeo (Penrith) Penrith 8-0
17th Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 10-0
24th Try Charlie Staines (Penrith) Penrith 14-0
25th Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 16-0
28th Try Stephen Crichton (Penrith) Penrith 20-0
29th Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 22-0
33rd Try Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah) Penrith 22-4
34th Goal Reuben Garrick (Manly Warringah) Penrith 22-6
40th Penalty Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 24-6
50th Try Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 28-6
51st Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 30-6
56th Try Jorge Taufua (Manly Warringah) Penrith 30-10
57th Goal Reuben Garrick (Manly Warringah) Penrith 30-12
63rd Try Brent Naden (Penrith) Penrith 34-12
64th Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 36-12
71st Try Apisai Koroisau (Penrith) Penrith 40-12
72nd Goal Nathan Cleary (Penrith) Penrith 42-12

MATCH SUMMARY

1st Half

Competition leaders the Penrith Panthers almost got off to the perfect start with a try by Brent Naden in the opening 90 seconds, which was brought back due to a Corey Staines knock-on. It wasn’t long until the Panthers crossed the try line however, with the second gamer Staines scoring in the right corner with momentum taking him over the line. He has an incredible five tries already to his name this season. Only nine minutes had elapsed before the Panthers would add another to their tally: lock forward Isaah Yeo broke through the Manly defensive line only a few metres from the try line and fought his way to the line to score his second try of the season. Staines continued his great start to his career after receiving a big looping pass from halfback Nathan Cleary which saw the young winger charge for the corner as he leaped out of bounds and placed the ball down in the corner. An incredible finish to put the Panthers up by 16 points.

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Four minutes later, the Panthers once again found themselves in a great position after a 40/20 kick from their star half Cleary. They had a look at the left edge this time and after Viliame Kikau broke an initial tackle, he created enough room to offload to Jarome Luai who passed it to Stephen Crichton, running through untouched for his 11th try of the season. It took 33 minutes for Manly to get on the scoresheet and it was the ever-so-reliable Jake Trbojevic who scored for the home side, as he muscled his way over after a regular hit up. An intercept from Brent Naden in the dying stages of the half saw him run 80 metres downfield before he was chased down by Daly Cherry-Evans and Reuben Garrick. In the following tackle, Penrith received a penalty after Trbojevic was deemed offside, which gave Cleary an opportunity to take a successful shot at goal to run the clock down to end the half.

2nd Half

After trading sets to open the half, the Panthers began to get back into their groove as they forced repeat sets on multiple occasions and piled the pressure on Manly. The Sea Eagles eventually cracked 10 minutes in after a brilliant try from Cleary that involved him putting a grubber in behind the line, which he regathered to score under the posts: a superb try from a superb young player. After a successful Captain’s Challenge on an original knock-on call, Manly were starting to put pressure on Penrith’s defence and it took a last tackle cross-field kick from Cherry-Evans to get the Sea Eagles back on the board as Jorge Taufua collected the kick and beat his opposing man to score in the corner.

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The Panthers essentially ended the Sea Eagles’ night after a regular right-edge shift exposed an overlap as Brent Naden crossed over untouched in the corner, for his first try of the night, to give the Panthers a 24-point lead courtesy of a Cleary conversion. The Panthers weren’t finished there: a bit of a razzle dazzle run from Luai – as he drifted across the park – caused the Manly defence to stagnate, which allowed Apisai Koroisau to run onto the ball at pace and hit a hole to score under the posts. Both teams traded sets over the remaining minutes of the fixture as the Panthers ran away with a 30-point victory.

GAME HIGHLIGHT

Nathan Cleary’s try in the 50th minute was a brilliant piece of play which saw him grubber the football through the defensive line of Manly; he regathered before Brendan Elliott could make a play at the footy to run in under the posts for an exceptional individual try. This was just one highlight for the New South Welshman, who had a superb night leading his side to a 30-point victory.

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Nathan finished the night with 18 individual points: including his superb try, six conversions and a sole penalty goal. The star halfback also finished with 70 run metres, two line break assists, two try assists, one forced drop out and a 40/20 to round out one of the better individual performances of the year.

SQUADS

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles: 1. Brendan Elliott 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 19. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka.

Penrith Panthers: 1. Caleb Aekins 2. Josh Mansour 3. Brent Naden 4. Stephen Crichton 21. Charlie Staines 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. James Tamou 18. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo. Interchange: 14. Tyrone May 15. Spencer Leniu 16. Moses Leota 20. Zane Tetevano.

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