Daly Cherry-Evans booted Manly to their first win of the season against the Warriors with a last-second field goal and two try assists.
The Sea Eagles were on the cusp of their worst start to a campaign since 1999 until their halfback and captain kicked a wobbly 22nd career one-pointer for a 13-12 victory at Central Coast Stadium on Friday night.
But the performance was soured by injuries with coach Des Hasler saying second-rower Jack Gosiewski's season could be over due to a foot problem while fullback Dylan Walker faces "4-8 weeks" out with a hamstring issue.
"It's always great to win those types of games. It was pretty ugly, but sometimes the ugliest games are the best games to be involved in," Hasler said.
"It was important we got the result. Both sides fought hard all night. Conditions weren't easy."
Match: Warriors v Sea Eagles
Round 5 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Hasler confirmed that star custodian Tom Trbojevic (hamstring) is expected back next round against the Titans provided he gets through training. Forward Haumole Olakau'atu could also return from an elbow injury.
There were no points for the first 30 minutes at Gosford despite the Sea Eagles almost scoring twice as the Warriors began sloppily, but the first try was worth the wait.
From a scrum deep inside his own half, Cherry-Evans boldly launched a 75-metre kick that winger Jason Saab sprinted after like he was nearing the winning post in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.
Saab, who was clocked at 37.5km/h according to Telstra Tracker data in round one, may well have set a new maximum speed PB as he shot past opposing flanker Ken Maumalo to easily touch down.
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Later, when his side trailed 12-6 with 20 minutes to go, Cherry-Evans placed a grubber that was spilled by Kodi Nikorima, allowing Josh Schuster to score his maiden NRL try and level the game.
The Warriors got on the board through Maumalo, who celebrated his 100th NRL game with a try created by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Jack Murchie in the 30th minute.
Tuivasa-Sheck put the second-rower into a hole, and though Murchie's pass was knocked down by a diving Saab, the Steeden sat up perfectly for Maumalo.
David Fusitu'a pulled off a huge tackle to force an error from Walker just before half-time; the second crunching hit of the match after Jazz Tevaga smacked Brad Parker.
"Push 'em back, push 'em back, way back," was chanted by a contingent of Warriors fans whenever the opposition was coming out of their own end.
Marcelo Montoya must have heard them as he whacked Saab on a kick-return early in the second term.
The hosts then asserted their dominance on the scoreboard moments later when halfback Sean O'Sullivan sold a big dummy and made his way to the line.
Schuster try helps the Sea Eagles draw level
Despite losing Walker after 56 minutes - while Gosiewski's night was done after 17 - the Sea Eagles kept themselves in the hunt and gained confidence from second-rower Schuster’s try.
O’Sullivan missed a field goal attempt that would have put the Warriors in front and Nikorima was rushed by the defence before he could take a shot afterwards.
As the clock ticked into its final minute, Schuster surprisingly attempted a field goal but it was charged down.
Manly were awarded a new set of six, however, and Cherry-Evans calmly slotted the winning point.
"[Schuster kicking the field goal] was an option. It was something we had spoke about from time-to-time," Hasler said.
"In the end, it was something that Chez does well. Those big moments - he’s handled [them] before."
O'Sullivan fools the Manly defence