Gallant Sea Eagles fight hard
Author : Wayne Cousins Seaeagles Media
Gallant Sea Eagles fight hard in loss to Magpies
A gallant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles turned in a spirited performance in the opening round of the SG Ball Cup season at 4 Pines Park today.
Under new Coach Nathan Hogan, the much smaller Sea Eagles certainly muscled up against a big Western Suburbs Magpies pack to only trail by two at half-time before the visitors raced away late for a 42-18 victory.
Although beaten, the Sea Eagles showed some enterprising play against one of the predicted favourites for the title.
The Magpies fielded two players from the Wests Tigers top 30 squad in hooker Tallyn Da Silva (five NRL games) and prop Jordan Miller.
They were joined by local Wests juniors in full-back Heath Mason, centre Luke Laulilii and winger William Craig who spent time with the Wests Tigers NRL squad over summer.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring with a spectacular leap from winger Druzel Taula to score off a crossfield kick from half-back Callum Dowell for a 4-0 lead after four minutes.
Dowell then showed a touch of class when he took the line to split the defence to score a 25 metre try for an 8-0 lead after 10 minutes.
The Magpies got on the board when centre Navren Willett reached out to score on the back of a new set of six for a 8-4 scoreline after 20 minutes.
Hooker Tallyn Da Silva
A minute later, hooker Tallyn Da Silva found the defence napping to score under the posts for a 10-8 lead.
The Magpies then extended their lead to 14-8 through a try out wide to centre and captain Heith Pritchard in the 29th minute.
The Sea Eagles hit back inside the final minute before half-time when Taula finished off a nice play to score in the corner to trail 14-12 at half-time.
Three minutes after the break, Manly centre Benjamin Keene-O’Keefe showed some skill and determination to score next to the posts for an 18-14 lead.
The Magpies drew level when Mason showed a clean pair of heels to score a converted try in the corner for a 20-18 lead with 25 minutes remaining.
Eight minutes later, the Magpies had a touch of good fortune through a try out wide to Craig for a 26-18 lead.
Both sides were reduced to 12 men with 10 minutes remaining after a small flare up before Willett dived over for his second try for a 32-18 lead with seven to go.
The Magpies then sealed victory with a second try to Da Silva for a 38-18 lead before Wests scored a controversial try despite a knock-on from Mason in the final seconds for a 42-18 scoreline.
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