Manly secure unlikely win over Sharks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly secure unlikely win over Sharks

Joe Barton 09/04/2011 11:58:24 PM Comments (0)

A last-minute try to Manly winger Michael Oldfield secured the visitors a remarkable comeback victory over Cronulla at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night.

Oldfield latched onto a Jamie Lyon chip kick before running 40 metres untouched as the Sea Eagles rallied from 13 points down to emerge victorious 19-13.

Oldfield's try came 60 seconds after Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans had levelled the scores with an equally unlikely left-footed field goal from the right-footed kicker.

A field goal to halfback Wade Graham right on halftime looked like being the difference as the Sharks battled hard in a physical contest in front of 15,133 people.

Cronulla skipped out to a 13-0 lead thanks to tries to winger Matthew Wright and hooker Stuart Flanagan and looked to be heading for a comfortable victory before the visitors started to mount a comeback in the 61st minute when Kieran Foran pounced on an Oldfield kick.

Oldfield himself had scooped up a scrappy grubber from Glenn Stewart as the Sea Eagles edged their way back into the game.

Six minutes later, on the back of four straight penalties, Manly crossed again - this time through burly prop George Rose who crashed over from five metres out, cutting the lead to just one.

Kade Snowden, a likely starter in the NSW front row this year, had a monster of a game and appeared to have done enough for a Cronulla victory after he layed on both Sharks tries and got through a mountain of work in both attack and defence.

Snowden threw the last pass for Wright's try which opened the scoring in the first half, and he was involved again early in the second half as he brushed through some soft defence to set up hooker Stuart Flanagan.

Cronulla coach Shane Flanagan lamented a series of lineball calls that went against the home team.

He pointed to a questionable pass for Rose's try, another in the lead-up to Cherry-Evans' field goal and an advantage call which favoured Manly as three decisions which cost his side heavily.

"If the George Rose try wasn't a forward pass I'll give it away and then two tackles before the field goal there's a forward pass there as well," Flanagan said.

"I think we were hard done by."

Sharks skipper Paul Gallen and Snowden both described the loss as heart-breaking.

Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler sympathised with Flanagan and praised his team for their ability to grind out the win.

"It probably could have gone two ways, we could have lost, we'd be heading back to Brookie licking our wounds," he said.

"It was a really tough, grinding, arm-wrestling game and not much show footy out there but I'm just so pleased because I know exactly how the Sharks would be feeling.

"They'd be feeling pretty low and pretty despondent." Earlier, Manly had a try denied in the eighth minute when centre Steve Matai, playing his first match of the season after serving a seven-game suspension, couldn't cleanly gather a Kieran Foran cross-field kick.

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