2023 NRL Round 12: Sea Eagles 42, Raiders 14

Manly Sea Eagles got their season back on track with a comprehensive away win at GIO Stadium.

Result

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 42
Tries: (7) Tom Trbojevic 19th, 30th, 50th; Brad Parker 22nd; Reuben Garrick 47th; Josh Schuster 57th; Jason Saab 63rd; Ben Condon 80th
Goals: (4) Reuben Garrick 24th, 32nd, 57th, 65th, 80th

Canberra Raiders 14
Tries: (2) Elliott Whitehead 5th; Ata Mariota 68th
Goals: (3) Jarrod Croker 6th, 40th, 69th

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Canberra came out of the traps the better of the two sides and capitalised just five minutes in with Fogarty supplying Wighton to put Whitehead in for the first try of the game.

The scoreboard was left untouched for the ensuing 15 minutes with both sides trading sets until Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic took a grip on the game with the latter opening the scoring for the visitors.

The Sea Eagles backed up the opening score with more points almost immediately off the back of a Cherry-Evans 40/20 as Brad Parker put his side ahead with a try.

With just one score separating the two teams, both teams tightened up in the final 15 minutes, but it was Manly who got the better of good ball possession early in the period. They went close with Ben Trbojevic only for the young back rower to knock on and limp off with a hamstring strain. It wasn’t long before the Trbojevic family got a reprise, with Tom Trbojevic capitalising on the goal-line pressure to put the visitors 10 ahead with just under 10 to play after the facile conversion was knocked over by Daly Cherry-Evans.

The Raiders responded at the back end of the first half and pressed the Manly line but sloppy attack denied them points – until a late penalty from a horrific Haumole Olokau’atu tackle on Jarrod Croker gave the hosts a chance to cut the lead with a penalty goal. Croker duly obliged and the teams went into the sheds at half time with Manly 16-8 in the lead.

Manly looked to start the better of the two sides, but ill-discipline tipped the arm wrestle in the favour of the home side, with Olakau’atu coming up with another poor tackle for a penalty. The Raiders used the ensuing set well, with Elliot Whitehead crossing down the right edge only to be judged to have knocked on over the line.

Consequently, off the back of some pro-Manly refereeing, the visitors went up the other end and scored through Reuben Garrick and extended their lead to 12. The Sea Eagles capitalised on their ascendency and scored on the ensuing set with Tom Trbojevic getting a third one for the night. Reuben Garrick brought back his poor kicking form and missed an easy one to keep the lead at 24-8.

Tom Trbojevic proved he was human with his second drop of the night to hand excellent attacking position to the Raiders – Matthew Timoko got across the whitewash only to be called back for obstruction.

Manly made good use of the resulting penalty and Josh Schuster capitalised off a fortunate rebound on his fifth tackle kick to get over under the sticks. A fracas ensued after Hudson Young pushed Schuster in the process of scoring and both teams piled in for a push and shove. Young and Sean Keppie fell foul of Gerard Sutton’s patience and were sent for 10, having words as the pair walked off to their respective changing rooms.

Canberra aimed to land points on the fifth tackle with 20 minutes to play and looked to have gained another set of six with Tom Trbojevic clearly playing at the kick, but Sutton ruled in favour of Manly – which was characteristic of his mood throughout – and the Sea Eagles capitalised off the ensuing set with Garrick breaking to feed Jason Saab to score under the posts. Garrick couldn’t miss this one and extended the lead to 28 points.

Canberra didn’t give up, however, and regained their own short kick off only for Sutton to rule a player – who had no effect on the play – offside. Cleary on the wrong side of the referee, the Raiders endeavoured to defend their line on the ensuing penalty and did so to their credit.

They backed up the good defensive set with a clinical attacking set which saw Ata Mariota cross for his first ever NRL try. Croker converted and the home side trailed 14-36.

The Raiders continued to keep the pressure on at the back end of the game but couldn’t add to their tally. Manly took a late opportunity to score through Ben Condon as time ran out to extend their winning margin to a resounding 42-14.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS

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3 – Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
2 – Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
1 – Taniela Paseka (Sea Eagles)

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