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2020 NRL Round 17, Sea Eagles 32 Tigers 34 – Report

Brendan Wood reviews the Wests Tigers miraculous 34-32 comeback win over the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at Lottoland. Here’s how the game went:

MATCH TIMELINE

Minute Scoring Play Score
4th Try – Morgan Harper (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 4-0
10th Try – Jorge Taufua (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 8-0
16th Try – David Nofoaluma (Tigers) Sea Eagles 8-6
19th Try – Jack Gosiewski (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 14-6
28th Try – Tevita Funa (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 20-6
37th Try – David Nofoaluma (Tigers) Sea Eagles 20-12
54th Try – Moses Mbye (Tigers) Sea Eagles 20-18
58th Try – Jake Trbojevic (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 26-18
67th Try – Morgan Harper (Sea Eagles) Sea Eagles 32-18
70th Try – Adam Doueihi (Tigers) Sea Eagles 32-24
73rd Try – David Nofoaluma (Tigers) Sea Eagles 32-28
78th Try – Adam Doueihi (Tigers) Tigers 34-32

MATCH SUMMARY

1st Half

Manly started quickly and had the Tigers on the back foot early with a few six again calls to dominate field position. They opened the scoring when Daly Cherry-Evans setup a try for Morgan Harper down a short side raid. Defensively the Tigers struggled to contain Manly’s ball carriers with the home side finding plenty of metres and offloads.

It wasn’t long before Manly found the try line again through sheer weight of possession. Jorge Taufua crashed over off another Cherry-Evans pass to extend the lead to 8-0. Eventually Manly produced an error to give the Tigers an opportunity to attack.

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As a result of finally seeing some good field position, Benji Marshall made Manly pay. He grubbered into the in-goal and David Nofoaluma won the race to ground the ball just inside the dead ball line. Despite finally getting on the scoreboard, the Tigers undid all their work when an errant offload was cleaned up by Manly.

In the resulting set Manly found more points, this time off the boot of Cherry-Evans. He stabbed a short kick into the in-goal for Jack Gosiewski to score and extend the lead. The next 10 minutes were better from the Tigers, but they couldn’t stop the rot as Manly again found an easy try. Tevita Funa pulled through two attempted tackles close to the line to score.

In the shadows of halftime, Manly gifted the Tigers one last chance to score and David Nofoaluma did just that. He cut back inside the sliding defence and found his way over for a second try, cutting the lead to just eight at the break.

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2nd Half

The Tigers came out of the sheds showing plenty of energy, which was a stark contrast to their first half effort. They out enthused Manly in the early exchanges and found the opening points of the half. Luke Brooks held up a pass for Moses Mbye to slice through, cutting the lead back to just two points.

The two point lead didn’t last long, as much like the first half the Tigers followed up points with an error to let Manly get back on top. Jake Trbojevic crossed for a try off a Martin Taupau pass close to the line to give themselves some breathing room.

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With a more comfortable lead at their disposal, Manly went back to their play maker Daly Cherry-Evans and he delivered again. He put Morgan Harper over for his second try to put the lead outside a converted try. However, there were some further twists to come when the Tigers found touch off the subsequent kick-off.

In good field position, they found the line through Adam Doueihi who converted his own try from the sideline. The Tigers kept coming at Manly and they got a six again call to help them down the field. They shifted the ball to the right edge and David Nofoaluma crossed in the corner to complete his hat-trick for the night.

With Manly suffering a few injuries throughout the game, under fatigue they struggled to keep the surging Tigers at bay. In the final minutes, Luke Brooks bombed across field and Adam Doueihi leapt above the pack to grab the ball and score his second try in eight minutes, sealing a miraculous comeback win for the Tigers 34-32.

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GAME HIGHLIGHT

The highlight of the game was the Tigers comeback in the final 10 minutes to grab victory from the clutches of defeat. Adam Doueihi was particularly influential, as he found touch off a kick-off which led to his first try. He then followed this up with a damaging run in the lead up to the third David Nofoaluma try. Finally, he completed the comeback with another try and kicked the winning goal. His goal kicking ultimately kept the Tigers in the game and was difference in the end, as he kicked 5/6 with the boot compared to Daly Cherry-Evans 4/6.

SQUADS

Sea Eagles: 1. Tevita Funa 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Albert Hopoate 5. Abbas Miski 18. Josh Schuster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Jack Gosiewski 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic Bench: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka

Tigers: 1. Moses Mbye 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joseph Leilua 4. Adam Doueihi 5. Asu Kepaoa 6. Benji Marshall 7. Luke Brooks 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Harry Grant 10. Thomas Mikaele 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Twal Bench: 14. Matt Eisenhuth 15. Elijah Taylor 16. Jacob Liddle 17. Sam McIntyre

 

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