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Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds against the Sea Eagles in Round 23.

A try late in golden point extra time to Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds has effectively ended Manly's late finals push and kept his team entrenched in the top four.


Bulldogs fans would argue the try is a bit of footballing karma after Reynolds was denied a try earlier in golden point for jostling Manly half Daly Cherry-Evans out of the way in the lead-up to his possible four-pointer but there was no doubt over his second effort, which came as he streaked through on a scooting Sam Perrett grubber that wrong-footed a half-fit Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic.

The 19-year-old fullback played hobbled for almost the entire contest after getting up lame very early on but bravely battled on and produced some huge plays late in the piece as his team searched desperately for the play that would seal a win to keep their season alive.

It wasn't to be though as the team was left to pay the price for an inability to take their chances in a first half they dominated, as well as a pair of field goal attempts from Cherry-Evans and Trbojevic earlier in golden point that shaved the outside of the right-hand goalpost.

Canterbury's forwards and particularly James Graham worked tirelessly to lay the platform and despite their halves each producing underwhelming options throughout a couple of pieces of first half Brett Morris magic provide pivotal.

The first half saw Manly go to the sheds trailing 12-6 despite enjoying a massive advantage in terms of possession and territory, with 57 per cent of the ball and countless chances inside the Dogs' 20 metres.

However the blue and white defence was far superior, missing just five first-half tackles to Manly's 18.

The Sea Eagles opened the scoring inside five minutes in soft fashion when Cherry-Evans was able to retrieve his own bomb, and they almost made it 12-0 less than 10 minutes later when the Trbojevic brothers combined but the bunker found Jake hadn't grounded the ball cleanly.

Manly missed a few other chances as support players were unable to hang onto deft passes or kicks from Cherry-Evans but the Bulldogs had no such issues at the other end as Brett Morris ran in a double.

The first, in the 23rd minute, came in unusual fashion when a Moses Mbye pass ricocheted off Josh Morris's forehead into the Manly in-goal for Brett to swoop.

Five minutes later he produced his second with a brilliant solo effort to beat three players then streak through to score to earn the 12-6 advantage his side clung to at the break.

A high tackle penalty against James Graham immediately after the resumption put Manly in range for Lyon to produce some good evasion to create a try for Matt Wright and narrow the score to 12-10.

The Dogs were able to create some pressure through the middle of the half and cracked the Manly line via retiring veteran Sam Perrett who crossed the play after a nice sequence of passing and offloading stretched the Manly line.

Manly refused to go away through and when Nathan Green batted back a Cherry-Evans bomb for Jorge Taufua to score shortly after the match was squared back up at 16-all with 17 minutes left on the clock.

Taufua almost had a second shortly after from a Tom Trbojevic tap-on but was penalised for a double movement after promoting the ball attempting to ground it setting up a tense final 10 minutes.

It also brought the field goal into the equation and Lyon missed a shot to the right in the 75th minute before Mbye saw his attempt a minute later fall 20 metres short. Neither team got close enough for a further attempt until, 10 seconds from golden point, Jamie Buhrer lost the ball in a smothering tackle from Sam Kasiano that saw the Bulldogs giant penalised for interference in the tackle 40 metres out. 

The Dogs blew up about the call but it didn't prove expensive as Lyon's penalty attempt was wide. Field goal attempts from Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic came agonisingly close to winning the game but instead Canterbury, with barely a minute left until a draw was called, found the miracle play to seal victory.

The Bulldogs completed the game minus Raymond Faitala-Mariner, who was concussed early, while Manly lost Dylan Walker just before half time with a dislocated shoulder that puts the rest of his season in doubt.

Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20 (B Morris 2, Perrett, Reynolds tries; Mbye 2 goals) defeated Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16 (Cherry-Evans, Wright, Taufua tries; Lyon 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 10,290. Half time: Bulldogs 12-6.

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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