Souths hold off fast-finishing Manly - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Souths hold off fast-finishing Manly

By Ian McCullough 02/04/2011 12:13:54 AM Comments (0)

Dylan Farrell's second hat-trick in just his ninth NRL game helped South Sydney seal a 32-30 victory over Manly in a thrilling clash at Gosford's Bluetongue Stadium on Friday.

Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans had the chance to take the game into extra time with the last play of the match after William Hopoate darted his way over the line to stun the home supporters, but his kick drifted to the left of the posts to hand Souths the points.

Farrell, 19, who scored a treble on his debut against Wests Tigers last season, opened the scoring in the eighth minute following some great work from debutant Kane Morgan, who flicked the ball into his path following a Chris Sandow kick.

Morgan turned hero to villain seven minutes later when he misjudged a Kieran Foran kick into the end-goal area and Jamie Buhrer pounced for the opening try of his career.

However, Manly undid their good work in the following set when Joe Galuvao lost possession and giant backrower David Taylor produced a perfectly-weighted grubber kick for Fetuli Talanoa to touch down in the left corner.

The Sea Eagles, who went into the game on the back of two successive victories, continued to press in the opening period with Foran once again looking a class act.

It was the young Kiwi five-eighth who set up his side's second four-pointer with a fine cut-out pass that left Souths' defence flat-footed, allowing Buhrer to double his career tally.

Cherry-Evans' conversion failed to find the target, giving the Rabbitohs a two-point advantage, which they increased to six when Farrell scored his second on the stroke of halftime.

Des Hasler's side got off to the perfect start in the second period when young backrower Daniel Harrison came off the bench to power his way over from close range.

But Souths hit back in emphatic fashion with three tries in eight minutes to make it 32-14 and complete what appeared to be a comfortable victory.

Farrell was forced to leave the field with a dislocated shoulder and Souths appeared to implode in his absence as Manly clawed their way back from the dead.

Anthony Watmough pulled a try back after Michael Robertson bravely flicked a high ball into his path nine minutes from time.

Michael Oldfield then narrowed the gap further with a searing run and finish on the right wing with Cherry-Evans adding the extras.

And with Souths hanging on for dear life, Hopoate scored his fourth try in as many games.

Souths coach John Lang admitted he was "death-riding" Cherry-Evans' final kick, but said his side deserved to win despite falling away towards the end of the game.

"It's never over until it's over, we were running out of gas, we were out of interchanges, we just couldn't get the ball," Lang said.

"We've let sides back into the game too often this season, but I think it was a step in the right direction even though we are not really where we want to be."

Manly were without Brett Stewart, who injured a hamstring in training, but coach Hasler said he was disappointed not to win the game, despite being 18 points behind in the second half.

"I thought we were good enough to win it. We're not happy with the 32 points we had posted against us," Hasler said.

"Brett hurt his hamstring in training yesterday, but he will be fine for next week."

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