The last two weeks will be games that the New Zealand Warriors will want to forget – with the team across the Tasman setting an unsavoury record, as the only team in NRL history to lose two consecutive games, in which they were leading by 18 points or more, at one stage.
It leaves the Warriors in a dark place and questioning themselves at the moment, but for Manly, on the back of a solid performance from halfback Daly Cherry-Evans, perhaps his best of the season – they seem to making a late charge towards as top 4 spot.
The win was soured howevever, with news that co-captain Jason King was taken to hospital, with what is believed to be an expected sternum/chest injury, though the diagnosis is not clear at this stage.
In front of a terrific Perth crowd at Patersons Stadium, of just over 20,000 fans – the game very nearly was not won by Manly, with the usually reliable kicker Jamie Lyon, having an off night with the boot – converting only his sides last try, the kick that sealed the game.
“I was due to kick one. I missed half a dozen other ones but luckily it was an easy kick, and it went over so it was good,” Lyon said of his late conversion.
“It was a bit of a get out of jail situation. I thought all the boys showed some good courage to come back and score a few tries. It was a great result.”
The Warriors night was also soured, after boom, young centre Konrad Hurrell left the field and returned, with what appeared to be a persistent ankle problem – one that coach Brian McClennan, believes may have come from something more sinister.
“We’ll have to look at the video. He got stamped on by Tony Williams on his foot,” McClennan said.
“Obviously the review panel will look at that and we’ll check it out ourselves. He was able to get back on but he was not managing it well so we had to get him off in the end.”