2023 NRL Round 3: Sea Eagles 34 Eels 30

Manly-Warringah continued their unbeaten start to the 2023 season, by seeing off Parramatta by 34-30  in a very entertaining match at Brookvale on Thursday night. The result leaves the Eels winless after three rounds.


Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 34
Tries: Tom Trbojevic 2 (25 min, 51 min), Haumole Olakau’atu 2 (68 min, 76 min), Reuben Garrick 7 min, Brad Parker 54 min
Reuben Garrick 5 (9 min, 18 min (pen), 27 min, 69 min, 76 min)

Parramatta Eels 30
Tries: Clint Gutherson 2 (31 min, 43 min), Maika Sivo 2 (72 min, 77 min), Matt Doorey 34 min, Josh Hodgson 75 min
Goals: Mitchel Moses 3 (33 min, 43 min, 75 min)

Embed from Getty Images


It didn’t take long for Manly to hit the front with Reuben Garrick continuing his points-scoring form with the match’s first try in the first 10 minutes. Garrick soon added two points after the Eels were penalised in attack. It was becoming one of those night for them.

After a very solid start to the match, errors starting creeping into the Sea Eagles’ game after the 20-minute mark, allowing the Eels back into the game. It didn’t help Parramatta though as the Eels continued to make errors themselves, then Josh Schuster (making his first start of the season in his new full-time role as five-eighth after injury) and Tom Trbojevic combined not long after for a 14-0 lead with a try to the fullback. Talking of fullbacks, Parramatta’s number one replied with eight minutes until half-time with a fine solo try. One set later and it was game on as the Eels scored a second try through a Matt Doorey charge from 10 metres out.

Manly almost scored with their first set of the second half, after yet another Eels error, but were denied by an infringement penalty. In a quick turnaround, the Eels then stunned the home crowd as they took the lead 16-14, and again it was a fine solo effort from Clint Gutherson who carved up the defence close to the line.

Manly were next to turn on the magic and snatch the lead as Schuster laid on the perfect chip into the in-goal and Tom Trbojevic, as his nickname suggests, flew in to score the try. The Sea Eagles followed that up with another sensational try minutes later. A Daly Cherry-Evans 40-20 attempt was heading for the sideline when just batted inside by the Eels winger, but it ended up in the path of Garrick who chipped ahead for Brad Parker – aka Hank Scorpio – in his 100th game. From losing their lead just after half-time, Manly were now 22-16 ahead with 25 minutes to go, although they may have regretted some missed conversions.

Eels centre Will Penisini certainly regretted missing a golden chance not long after, needing to simply pick up the ball from a metre out of an open line, but dropped it. A forward pass close to the line cost the Eels another try next set. Those wasted chances hurt even more when Manly scored again when Haumole Olakau’atu collected the perfect cross-field kick from Schuster. Manly looked home at 28-16.

Parramatta hit back with seven minutes to go with Maika Sivo on the end of a superb Dylan Brown cut-out pass. The missed conversion made winning a tough prospect for Parramatta, but they scored not long after through some great offloading and a carving run from Josh Hodgson to make the deficit just two points with four minutes to go.

The game looked like it was over in the very next set as the Eels pushed for the next try and Olakau’atu intercepted a J’maine Hopgood offload. It wasn’t over for Parramatta though, as Sivo scored with two minutes to go on the end of a fine cut-out pass from Mitchell Moses this time. Parramatta tried their hardest to steal the game with their last set, but their near length-of-the-field set ended with Moses over the sideline to end a very entertaining Thursday night of NRL action.

Manly will be licking their lips at the form of their returning injured stars Tom Trbojevic and Schuster, alongside the trusted Cherry-Evans, Jake Trbojevic, and co. They sit on top of the table. Parramatta’s 0-3 start to the season is a now real worry, as their draw get even harder for the next few rounds, and there is a genuine chance that the Eels could be winless for the first five rounds of the season.


Embed from Getty Images

3 – Josh Schuster (Sea Eagles)
2 – Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles)
1 – Clint Gutherson (Eels)

Other Articles

Leave a Reply

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Translate »