Eagles survive Rabbitohs comeback - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles survive Rabbitohs comeback

By Adrian Warren 02/05/2010 08:08:31 PM Comments (0)

Impressed South Sydney coach John Lang lavished praise upon Manly and couldn't think of a better side in the NRL after the Sea Eagles defeated the Rabbitohs 30-22 at ANZ Stadium on Sunday.

The eight-point margin was somewhat misleading, as Souths scored the last 16 points after trailing 30-6 early in second half.

The Manly pack quelled the fire of the Rabbitohs' big forwards and put their side on the front foot.

With props Jason King and Josh Perry and backrowers Anthony Watmough and Glenn Stewart leading the charge, Manly were too powerful and clinical for a tentative Rabbitohs outfit.

"They've got a good strong forward pack if they are not the best side in the comp, then they are very close to it," Lang told reporters.

"I can't think of a better one off the top of my head. They were really focussed, they played strongly, they executed well.

"When they do that they are going to be very hard to beat.

"They are going to be one of the sides that are going to be there at the business end.

"I don't think they've got any glaring weaknesses. They are pretty strong across the board."

Manly took control with a decisive 20-point burst either side of halftime.

First-half tries to winger Michael Robertson, fullback Ben Farrar and Matt Cross were answered only by a strong solo effort from Rabbitohs forward David Taylor.

Further tries after the break to skipper Jamie Lyon and Watmough pushed Manly over the horizon.

Hooker Issac Luke started the Souths revival and centre Beau Champion crossed twice more in four minutes.

Young halves Kieran Foran and Trent Hodkinson chose good options on the back of their dominant pack, creating a number of tries with some astute kicks.

"It was a defensive game and I think our big boppers in the middle Kingy and Josh Perry were massive for us," Watmough said.

"We just had to defend our butts off against their big guys, but credit to us. They're a really big team, but I think our boys stuck it to them."

It was Manly's fifth win in their last six games.

Although his team continued their trend of being outscored in the second half, Manly coach Des Hasler pointed out the Sea Eagles had been in control for the majority of most matches.

Lang conceded the better team won, but felt his team suffered from some line-ball forward pass calls that went against the Rabbitohs and a potential try to Luke disallowed for a double movement.

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