The Panthers made the trip to Brookvale Oval and were greeted to a crisp, clear night on the Northern Beaches. It was a tough and gritty performance but the boys came away with a one point victory to give us a boost going into our next game against the Eels in two weeks.
It was the Sea Eagles who troubled the scorers first in the fourth minute of play. Tom Symonds made a bust through the middle of the field. Brett Stewart was there in support and became the highest try scorer for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles with 152. Jamie Lyon converted from in front to give the Sea Eagles an early 6-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles had the better of the opening period of the game and dominated field position. The Panthers first attacking opportunity came in the 16th minute when Stewart put down a fifth tackle bomb. On the back of a repeat set the Panthers then spread it wide and Matt Moylan found David Simmons with some space and he crossed out wide in the 18th minute of the game. Matt Moylan’s conversion struck the upright and bounced back into the field of play to leave the scores at 6-4 to the Sea Eagles.
Jamie Soward and George Jennings held up Jamie Lyon in the 22nd minute however two plays later the Sea Eagles shifted in left and Brett Stewart crossed for his second. Jamie Lyon’s conversion was waved away. The Sea Eagles extended the lead to 10 points to 4.
The Sea Eagles defence was rock solid throughout the first half with their line speed stopping the Panthers from getting any forward momentum in attack.
HALF TIME: Sea Eagles 10-4
The Panthers started the 2nd half with a lot more intensity in defence. The bigger hits brought both teams closer with scuffles breaking out on multiple occasions.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half saw no addition to the half time score. In the 55th minute Jamie Soward ran the ball and found some space down the blind side. He got the ball to Sika Many who found Dallin Watene-Zelezniak unmarked and he planted the ball down close to the right hand touch line. Matt Moylan’s conversion sailed wide giving Manly a slender 10-8 lead.
The Panthers made a quick fire break through the middle on the next set however Waqa Blake couldn’t take Moylan’s final pass which would have seen Blake 20 metres out with only Manly defenders behind him.
George Jennings got sandwiched by two Sea Eagles in the 67th minute of play and was stretchered off with a lower leg injury.
Bryce Cartwright put a nice grubber kick into the in goal with 10 minutes remaining to earn the Panthers a repeat set. On the fourth tackle Matt Moylan got taken high and opted to take the two points. The penalty sailed over, giving the loyal crowd in attendance a nail biting final 7 minutes.
In the next set of six a scrappy last tackle option by the Panthers went through the hands until it reached Matt Moylan. He calmed surveyed the situation and beautifully slotted a 39 metre field goal to give the Panthers the lead for the first time in the game.
Justin Horo made a bust on the Panthers right edge which gave the Sea Eagles great field position. Feleti Mateo just missed a field goal on the last play with 3 and a half minutes on the clock.
David Simmons interrupted a Sea Eagles raid on half way with less than two minutes to go. The ensuing set saw Daly Cherry Evans line up a field goal from 30 metres out. Pressure from Matt Moylan saw the attempt waved away.
The Panthers held onto the ball for the final 25 seconds and claim a dramatic one point victory.
FULL TIME: PANTHERS 11-10
Official crowd: 8025