2023 NRL Round 1: Sea Eagles 31, Bulldogs 6

A full house at 4 Pines Park saw Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles kick off the season in style with victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.


Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 31
Tries: (5) Tom Trbojevic 16th; Reuben Garrick 35th; Daly Cherry-Evans 42nd, 60th, 79th
Goals: (5) Reuben Garrick 18th, 36th, 44th, 61st, 80th
Field Goals: (1) Daly Cherry-Evans 71st

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6
Tries: (1) Reed Mahoney 20th
Goals: (1) Matt Burton 21st

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Leading into the game the Bulldogs suffered a setback with Luke Thompson suffering a likely season ending injury at training. This forced the club to rethink their top 30 squad through a lack of prop forwards, resulting in Bailey Biondi-Odo being delisted as they search for Thompson’s replacement.

Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, coming off victory in the hastily arranged NRL pre-season challenge were looking to break their round 1 hoodoo which dates to the 2013 season.

Manly dominated the contest, initially bashing the Bulldogs early. They capitalised through Tom Trbojevic scoring the opening try after 16 minutes. Reed Mahoney struck back for the visitors, regathering his kick from dummy half after it hit the uprights to score under the posts.

Just before half-time the game dynamic changed with Kyle Flanagan sent to the sin bin in a contentious call that saw the Sea Eagles take advantage through Reuben Garrick’s try to lead 12-6.

The home side went on with the job in the second half. All three tries were scored by Daly Cherry-Evans as he completed his first career hat-trick in a man of the match performance. Cherry-Evans’ second coming thanks to Taniela Paseka’s break through the heart of the Bulldogs defence, while a loose pass on full-time from Burton was intercepted by the Manly skipper.

For new Bulldogs coach Cameron Ciraldo there’s plenty of work ahead with his side completing at only 60% and lacking direction in attack at times.

Jacob Kiraz (returned to the field) and Lachlan Croker left the field under HIA protocols.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
2 – Lachlan Croker (Sea Eagles)
1 – Reed Mahoney (Bulldogs)

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