Manly too strong for Rabbitohs in Gosford
Friday August 10, 2012
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have fallen to their first defeat in seven weeks, going down 23-6 to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium.
A crowd of 17,947 braved atrocious weather conditions on the Central Coast tonight to see Manly run in five tries to one.
The Rabbitohs struck first in just the fourth minute of play when prop forward Sam Burgess crashed over for the first four-pointer of the game. Running into a vicious headwind, halfback Adam Reynolds put in a crossfield kick which saw second rower Chris McQueen tap the ball back to safety. The ball ended up with Burgess who scored adjacent to the uprights. Reynolds converted to give the Rabbitohs a six-nil lead.
The Sea Eagles struck back straight away when centre Dean Whare scored in the seventh minute. Five-eighth Kieran Foran found fullback Brett Stewart looping around the back, who turn put Whare away down the left hand touchline to score.
The Rabbitohs were defending well and Manly were blowing some attacking opportunities with poor handling, but neither side could grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
It was not until the 34th minute of the match that the next points would be posted when Manly winger Jorge Taufua scored in the left corner. The Sea Eagles seemed to have found an area which they could exploit and they would continue to do so throughout the match.
Seconds from half time, Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans kicked a short range field goal to extend the lead to the unusual scoreline of 9-6 at the break.
The Rabbitohs continued to defend desperately in the second half, with Manly continuing to make metres out wide and big second rower Tony Williams making metres on the fringes of the ruck.
The pressure paid off when Jorge Taufua scored his second try for the night, again in the left hand corner.
In the 71st minute the Sea Eagles scored in the opposite corner through David Williams after some good work from centre Jamie Lyon, taking the score out to 17-6 in favour of the visitors.
Dropped ball was hurting the Rabbitohs in the second half, and despite having pulled off some amazing last minute comebacks in the past, the Rabbitosh did not seem to have it in them to trouble the Manly side’s defence after the fourth minute of play.
To rub salt into the wound, Manly hooker Matt Ballin scored in the final minute, with Jamie Lyon’s only conversion taking the score to 23-6.
The Rabbitohs fought hard throughout the entire 80 minutes, but the Sea Eagles played at an intensity that the men in red and green could not match for the entire match.
South Sydney now has an eight day turnaround before taking on the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Toyota Stadium on Saturday August 18 at 7:30pm (AEST).
Manly Sea Eagles - 23 (Jorge Taufua 2, Dean Whare, David Williams, Matt Ballin tries; Jamie Lyon goal; Daly Cherry-Evans field goal) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs - 6 (Sam Burgess try; Adam Reynolds goal) at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford.
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