Main content

Melbourne, Manly play out draw

Melissa Woods AAP Mon, May 20, 2013 - 9:23 PM

Matt Ballin runs the ball for Manly against Melbourne Copyright: NRL Photos

Defending NRL champions Melbourne and Manly have played out a 10-10 draw after golden point failed to separate the arch-rivals at AAMI Park.

Neither side could get the field goal they desperately sought to claim the win.

The Storm had three attempts, as did Manly, but couldn't find the target and were forced to settle for the draw in another absorbing match between the two teams.

Manly looked to have a 10-8 win in the bag until prop Brent Kite was penalised for being offside with two minutes remaining in regular time.

Melbourne skipper Cameron Smith slotted a penalty from right in front to send the match into extra time.

The draw continued Melbourne's misery after two shock losses heading into the game.

It was better than a third loss, which is where they appeared to be headed after a disappointing opening half.

The Sea Eagles were by far the better side and took a 8-0 lead to the break, with their skipper Jamie Lyon scoring all of the points with a try, conversion and early penalty.

Melbourne had a telling nine handling errors to two in the first 40 minutes and looked a shadow of the side that posted 15 consecutive wins before the two defeats.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was enthralling.

The tenacious Sea Eagles defence held rock solid on their tryline for an incredible four successive sets with the Storm unable to find a way through.

Melbourne's frustration was clear as Smith elected to take a penalty kick in the 53rd minute to get his team on the scoreboard.

After a Manly set the Storm finally discovered a way through with Gareth Widdop putting a slap-dash kick on the final tackle across field which found centre Maurice Blair, who found a hole between Steve Matai and Kieran Foran to touch down.

Smith converted to tie up the scoreline 8-8.

That was shortlived with the visitors going up 10-8 after it was ruled that Storm lock Tohu Harris stripped Manly forward George Rose, with Lyon kicking a penalty.

But the two-point lead didn't prove enough.