2023 NRL Round 21: Sea Eagles 30, Sharks 26

The Sea Eagles hold onto their victory after the Sharks attempted a late comeback on Sunday afternoon.


Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 30
Tries: Josh Aloiai 6th; Lachlan Croker 20th; Haumole Olakau’atu 28th; Tolutau Koula 32nd, 44th; Reuben Garrick 40th
Goals: Reuben Garrick 21st, 33rd, 45th

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 26
Tries: Ronaldo Mulitalo 46th; Sione Katoa 59th; Cameron McInnes 71st; Jesse Ramien 72nd; William Kennedy 74th
Goals: Nicholas Hynes 71st, 73rd, 75th

Embed from Getty Images


The Sharks hosted the Sea Eagles at PointsBet Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Manly were the first to score, Josh Aloiai getting the four points within the first few minutes of the game.

Lachlan Croker and Haumole Olakau’atu scored more points for the Sea Eagles, extending their lead and showing early signs of dominance against the lackluster Sharks.

Reuben Garrick made considerable meters in their first set following Olakau’atu’s try, giving Manly great field position to maintain their dominance over the Sharks in the first half.

The Sea Eagles went to the bunker to find that the ball was held up and continued on with their set. In their next play, they scored their fourth try of the afternoon, leaving the Sharks trailing farther behind.

The Sharks certainly had their work cut out for them going into the second half, meanwhile Manly were hopeful in carrying their momentum from the first half into the second.

Cronulla came out into the second half guns blazing, and quickly found themselves on Manly’s line. The Sea Eagles’ defense was too strong and the Sharks were unable to score their first points, but they looked threatening. A good sign after a poor first half.

Manly scored quite quickly afterwards, with Tolutau Koula going over for an afternoon double. The Sea Eagles were well and truly on top.

Ronaldo Mulitalo scored in the corner, finally putting the Sharks on the board.

Shortly after, the Sharks had another opportunity, also from Mulitalo. However, the ball fell short and he lost possession, handing the ball back over to Manly.

The Sharks were starting to appear desperate, while Manly, who kept protecting their line, seemed quite at ease with the difference between them and Cronulla.

Sione Katoa scored the Sharks’ second try of the night, which went unconverted.

In an unpredictable turn of events, the Cronulla Sharks really stepped it up in the final fifteen minutes against Manly, scoring three tries in three minutes, closing the gap to just four points, leaving the Sea Eagles scrambling despite being on top for the duration of the game until this point.

With five minutes to go, Manly had to defend like crazy, meanwhile the Sharks needed to keep running with this late burst of energy and momentum.

Manly held onto their lead, but only just, winning by just four points.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Reuben Garrick (Manly)

2 – Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly)

1 – William Kennedy (Sharks)

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