Back and forth the game went at Central Coast Stadium, with the Manly Sea Eagles pipping the South Sydney Rabbitohs 14-12 and recording their first win of the 2013 season.
After losing a solid lead in Rd 1 after their loss to the Melbourne Storm, Manly needed to bounce back and in a home game on the Central Coast, that is what they did, as their defensive resolve shone through when they needed it most.
Their task pre-game was not made any easier with Brett Stewart and Glenn Stewart joining the casualty list at Manly but despite that, they held on and won a narrow contest.
Manly’s coach Geoff Toovey described the win as gutsy.
“Yeah it was a gutsy effort, particularly with the late withdrawal of Glenn Stewart this afternoon. Also because of last week [a golden point loss to Melbourne], that was probably the game that got away,” said Toovey.
With the game billed as a clash between two premiership heavyweights, Toovey said the feeling to be the underdog was a good one.
“It was good to be the underdog today. These players really enjoyed that tag and they used it to their advantage today,” he said.
Although Toovey was relatively civil post-game, he did have some areas of concern when it came to the refereeing.
“I don’t want to get into it too much but that’s two weeks in a row where people have dropped the ball, our captain’s come from 30 metres away to try and get the referees to do something and it goes unnoticed, I don’t understand,” he said.
“It’s easy for me to say, I’m up in the box looking down, I do have some trouble with some of the interpretations and consistency but it is Round 2 and we’re all teething still.”
For Souths coach Michael Maguire, execution was the issue in the first half as his side could not find any momentum.
“Our first half, we probably weren’t doing the things we practiced and when you can’t do that, you’re basically putting pressure on yourself,” said Maguire.
“Both teams had plenty of drops and plenty of opportunities and that’s probably why the scoreline was so close.
“Definitely disappointed with our performance there.”
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