Dylan Walker scored a try two minutes from time to break the deadlock as Manly defeated Sydney Roosters 18-12 in a thrilling clash today at Allianz Stadium.
Walker took a beautiful pass from Brian Kelly before racing almost half the length of the field to clinch the improving Sea Eagles’ third successive victory while inflicting the Roosters’ first defeat of the NRL season.
The Sea Eagles took an early 2-0 lead with a penalty but the Roosters scored the first try of the evening through Shaun Kenny-Dowall after a great cut-out pass from Luke Keary.
Dylan Napa had to leave the field with an ankle injury, and the Roosters then conceded a try created by Tom Trbojevic, who sped through a gap in their defence and gave the final pass for Jorge Taufua to score.
After the sides went in level at the interval, Manly winger Akuila Uate had a try disallowed for putting a foot into touch, and in worsening conditions, with rain beginning to pour, Walker shot through the Roosters’ defence to ground a Blake Green grubber on 66 minutes for his first try.
Latrell Mitchell replied with a break down the left, but winger Daniel Tupou dropped the ball with the line undefended.
But Mitchell Pearce then showed great strength to barge his way over the line to bring the scores level again.
Mitchell then failed with two field goal attempts from close range, while at the other end Manly earned a repeat set following Mitchell’s error, but Daly-Cherry-Evans also send a field-goal attempt wide before Walker clinched the game for Manly.
It mattered little as Walker delivered at the death to continue Manly’s early-season resurgence.
Roosters: 1 Michael Gordon, 2 Daniel Tupou, 3 Latrell Mitchell, 20 Blake Ferguson, 5 Shaun Kenny-Dowall, 6 Luke Keary, 7 Mitchell Pearce, 8 Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, 9 Jake Friend (c), 10 Dylan Napa, 11 Boyd Cordner (c), 12 Mitchell Aubusson, 13 Aidan Guerra, Interchange, 14 Isaac Liu, 15 Zane Tetevano, 16 Ryan Matterson, 17 Connor Watson.
Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Jorge Taufua, 3 Dylan Walker, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Blake Green, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (C), 8 Brenton Lawrence, 9 Api Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Frank Winterstein, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Jake Trbojevic, Interchange, 14 Lewis Brown, 15 Jackson Hastings, 16 Nate Myles, 17 Addin Fonua-Blake.
For coverage of all the weekend’s NRL games check out Monday’s League Express.