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Doubles to Tom Trbojevic and Haumole Olakau'atu helped Manly hold off Parramatta to kick off Round 3 with a 34-30 win and keep their undefeated start to the season intact.

In a seesawing match where the lead changed multiple times, Olakau'atu was able to seal the victory in the 77th minute after plucking an Eels offload out of the air to cross under the posts from 20 metres out.

The try came against the run of play, with the Eels in midst of mounting a tremendous comeback and meant a 78th minute try to Maika Sivo - his second of the night - was merely a consolation. 

Played at 4 Pines Park to kick off Multicultural Round, the Sea Eagles started the game well, with Reuben Garrick opening the scoring in the seventh minute.

Tom Trbojevic then scored the first of his two tries in a high-scoring match, before his side seemed to switch off mentally and fell away in defence, allowing Parramatta to run in two quick tries for the visitors to go into the half-time break trailing 14-10 after a poor showing to start the game. 

Who else but Turbo

The first half was a game of two halves within itself, with Manly utterly dominating the first 20 minutes, before errors crept into the game and the Eels returned serve. 

The second half was much the same template, with the Sea Eagles playing well in the first half despite letting Eels captain Gutherson cross for his second try in the 43rd minute.

The home side scored three tries to seemingly be in control of the match, before the Eels again fought back to set up an epic ending to the match.

Gutherson slices through

Parramatta captain Gutherson tried his best to lift his team with his two tries halting the momentum that was building against his side, while Sea Eagles five-eighth Josh Schuster impressed with three try assists in his first game of the year. 

The result sees the Sea Eagles remain at the top of the ladder for now and leaves the Eels still chasing their first win. 

Match snapshot

  • The Sea Eagles claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since last July after posting a Round 1 win and getting two points for the bye last weekend.
  • Sea Eagles winger Reuben Garrick entered the game with 98 points in eight games against the Eels and quickly added to his tally, crossing for the first try of the night.
  • Overall in the win - he scored a try, four conversions and a penalty goal for a total of 14 points. 
  • Eels halfback Mitchell Moses had never won at 4 Pines Park and now has played five games for five losses at the venue.

Olakau'atu steals his second

  • Manly centre Brad Parker played in his 100th NRL game and celebrated with a try. 
  • Eels forward Matt Doorey was forced from the field at 4 Pines Park on Thursday night after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury.
  • Fellow forward Jack Murchie failed his HIA after coming off in the 62nd minute.
  • Four players scored doubles in the match, with Clint Gutherson and Maiko Sivo for the Eels and Haumole Olakau'atu and Tom Trbojevic for the Sea Eagles crossing for two tries each. 
  • Kelma Tuilagi was put on report for a dangerous tackle.

Play of the Game 

In his 100th game, Manly forward Brad Parker scored a remarkable - but somewhat messy - try to celebrate the milestone. After Daly Cherry-Evans set up the opportunity with a 40/20 attempt that was thrown back into the field by Bailey Simonsson, the Manly chasers, including Parker, were able to get to the ball first to score the try. 

Parker scores a remarkable rugby league try

What They Said 

"We came with effort and we have got plenty of fight and resolve. We've been out there right at the death for three games, but we need more than just fighting up with effort each week, we need to execute our plan and that's probably more individually at the moment. We have scored some good footy tries the last few weeks, but the tries scored against us have been too easy." - Brad Arthur, Parramatta Eels coach

Eels: Round 3

"I think one of the things we did really well was we build a good platform that first 30 minutes and we were definitely in control of the game and the learning is what we did that last 50 minutes. We are still building as a team and it was a bit chaotic at the end." - Anthony Seibold, Manly Sea Eagles coach 

"(Josh Schuster's) natural ability is pretty special, the way he can pass the ball, the chip and chase five metres out from their tryline, it's all there for him, it's just about building consistency. - Daly Cherry-Evans, Manly Sea Eagles captain

Sea Eagles: Round 3

What's Next

Next Thursday night, it will be a grand final rematch for the Eels who host Penrith Panthers in what should be a blockbuster clash at Commbank Stadium.

The Sea Eagles will head to Accor Stadium on Saturday night to take on the Rabbitohs. 

Acknowledgement of Country

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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