Gallant Sea Eagles go down to Panthers in NYC
The Manly Sea Eagles NYC team have fallen 28-20 to the Penrith Panthers in a tough clash at Centrebet Stadium.
The Sea Eagles were in the game until late in the second half, leading 10-8 at half time, before the classy Panthers backs ran riot.
Again halfback Josh Drinkwater dominated, scoring a try, setting up 2, and kicking a goal in a good performance with the ball in hand.
Despite a sloppy start from both teams, the Panthers grabbed the first two tries through late inclusion Jake Butler-Fleming and centre George Jennings, but with the wind playing havoc with kicker Harry Siejka, they only led 8-0 after 14 minutes.
The Sea Eagles were dealt another blow when five-eighth Sam Short was carried off with a lower leg injury, but after fullback Jake Busby made a try-saving tackle on Panther Tom Eisenhuth, the tide started to turn.
They crossed for their first points in the 24th minute when Nathan Cooper crossed off a great ball from Josh Drinkwater, and then again 11 minutes later through captain Dylan Kelly, who chased through and grounded a Drinkwater grubber next to the posts to put the visitors in the lead 10-8.
On the back of a Sea Eagles mistake and a great bust by Butler-Fleming the Panthers had one final chance before the break to take the lead, but after beating three players to get to the line Jennings spilled the ball as he attempted to put it down under the posts, leaving the Sea Eagles up 10-8 at the break.
The Panthers came out firing in the second half, and created plenty of pressure on the Sea Eagles line. Although Manly looked to have held out the Panthers after three consecutive sets, a mistake gave then another chance, and prop Sam Hollis crashed over for a relatively soft try to put them back in the lead at 12-10.
A length of the field try to Kieran Moss, with involvement from Jennings, Siejka and Vaipuna Tia-Kilifi, pushed the lead out to 18-10, but Manly hit straight back when Jackson William crossed in the corner after Jusin Lemalu broke the line to bring it back to 18-14.
The Panthers kicked away after this, with Jennings and Moss grabbing doubles, before Drinkwater scored a late consolation try for a 28-20 full time score.
Best for the Panthers were Harry Siejka, Kieran Moss, George Jennings and Sam Hollis, while for the Sea Eagles, the best were Josh Drinkwater, Jake Busby and Jake Trbojevic.
PENRITH PANTHERS 28
(George Jennings 2, Kieran Moss 2, Jake Butler-Fleming, Sam Hollis Tries; Harry Siejka 2/6 Goals)
MANLY SEA EAGLES 20
(Nathan Cooper, Dylan Kelly, Jackson William, Josh Drinkwater Tries; Drinkwater 1/3, Dylan Kelly 1/1 Goals).