South Sydney welcomed back star duo Greg Inglis and John Sutton from injury and the duo played a key role for their side as the Rabbitohs edged a thriller 22-10 at Bluetongue Stadium in Round 23 in Gosford.
But it was Manly that shot out of the blocks with Daly Cherry-Evans breaking through down the right side and firing a pass inside for Jamie Lyon to make it 6-0. A pinpoint Adam Reynolds chip saw Chris McQueen leap high to level the scores, but a brilliant backline move on the left gave Jorge Taufua an easy run to the line and it was the Sea Eagles up 10-6 at the break.
Inglis showed his value in defence with two stunning try-saving tackles on David Williams and then Steve Matai early in the second half and after desperately clinging on, the momentum turned when Reynolds found touch with a line drop-out to halt Manly’s momentum.
From the ensuing set of six, Souths put on a nice second-man play to the left for Nathan Merritt to score his 150th career try and when Reynolds nailed the sideline conversion, the Bunnies had stolen an unlikely 12-10 lead. They edged further ahead soon after when Issac Luke’s grubber out of dummy-half hit the post, allowing Inglis to pounce on the scraps.
Luke then helped secure the points as he sent Dylan Walker free down the right with Dylan Farrell crossing in the corner to make it 22-10 and end Manly’s six-match winning streak.
Souths enjoyed 55 per cent of possession and completed 31 sets to Manly’s 22.
George Burgess was strong with 153 metres up front while Jamie Lyon ran for 150 metres for the Sea Eagles.