Warriors v Sea Eagles: Five key points
The Manly Sea Eagles rallied to secure a dramatic 22-21 comeback victory over the Warriors in golden point on Sunday afternoon, keeping their finals hopes well and truly alive in the process. Here are the key talking points from the Round 25 NRL Telstra Premiership match in Auckland.
Manly halves to the fore
The quality of the men wearing No.6 and No.7 for Manly came through when it mattered at Mount Smart Stadium.
Standoff Blake Green was arguably the Sea Eagles' best player on the park, and inside the opening 15 minutes it seemed everything he touched turned to gold with a pair of 40/20 kicks in the space of five minutes and the assist for the opening try of the game.
While captain Daly Cherry-Evans was fairly quiet for the majority, his field goal two minutes from the siren to force golden point and another to win the match four minutes into additional time were clutch efforts under pressure in wet and windy conditions.
Defeat from the jaws of victory
Holding a seven-point lead with five minutes to go at home, the Warriors should have been able to ice the game on Sunday but instead fumbled their way to defeat.
After the hosts leaked a try in the 76th minute Ata Hingano compounded the issue by booting the restart out on the full, gifting Manly with field position which they used to kick a field goal and draw even.
In golden point there was another opportunity to seal the result after David Fusitu'a produced a long-range break into attacking territory, but instead of keeping to the middle of the park to try and set for a field goal the Warriors went wide through Ken Maumalo and got bundled into touch.
From there Manly went on to win the match, taking full advantage of a Warriors side who lacked the experience, confidence and game awareness to get the job done.
Positives aplenty for Barrett
It was hardly a polished performance, with 11 errors equalling Manly's second worst performance this season in that department, but coach Trent Barrett refused to dwell on the negatives post-match.
"It was always going to be a tough game, particularly in those conditions," Barrett said.
"I'd much rather win like that than [the opposition] play poorly and us jag a [result]."
The Sea Eagles struggled to generate momentum throughout the match due in large part to their high error count, and at times their left edge was exposed badly by David Fusitu'a and Blake Ayshford.
Toast to Trbojevic x2
It's not the first time they have done it, and it certainly won't be the last, but the effort and impact of Manly's Trbojevic brothers can't be overlooked.
Between them they ran for over 280 metres at Mount Smart Stadium, while Tom laid on a try and scored another, breaking the line twice as he terrorised the Warriors through the middle of the park.
Big brother Jake made 45 tackles and scored the opening try, finishing with a provisional team-high 63 NRL Fantasy points.
"Both the Trbojevic brothers always do that sort of stuff. Jake is tackling anything that moves and Tommy is a fantastic ball runner," interchange forward Addin Fonua-Blake told NRL.com.
"He got [Cherry-Evans] into some good positions to kick those field goals."
Warriors approach unwanted history
In crashing to their eight consecutive loss on Sunday, the Warriors equalled their worst losing run in a single season.
A loss next weekend against the Wests Tigers would see Stephen Kearney's men rewrite the record books for all the wrong reasons, marking one of their poorest seasons since their inception in 1995.
Overall the club's longest losing run is 11, which they have endured twice previously, but on both of those occasions it occurred across two separate seasons.