Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Woe! Shame, Manly, shame!!

Dragons up in amazing comeback
Monday August 30, 03:06 PM

A Mark Riddell conversion with only two minutes remaining has been enough to give the Dragons an incredible 36-34 win over Manly at Wollongong this afternoon.

Down 34-10 with 23 minutes remaining the Dragons scored five unanswered tries, including a double to Nathan Blacklock, to steal the win.

Blacklock's two tries came within five minutes of each other before Ben Hornby crossed and then Matt Cooper scored with 13 minutes remaining to make it 34-30.

The Eagles defence then seemed to settle but with three minutes remaining, Matthew Head threw a flat pass to prop Justin Poore who crashed over 15 metres in from touch.

Riddell slotted the pressure kick.

The Eagles had been on target for an unlikely victory after scoring four tries to one in the first half, but their defence fell to pieces after the break as the Dragons lifted in attack.

Manly captain Michael Monaghan said they should never have lost with the lead they had.

"Shattered is probably the right word. We were the better team and we didn't get the points and I guess we've got ourselves to blame for that," he said.

Dragons coach Nathan Brown was thrilled to have come away with the win.

"What it did show was there was plenty of character and plenty of spirit and fight which was pleasing, but it also showed we've got a few things to work on as well," he said.

The win means the Dragons will more than likely finish the season in fifth place as they have a bye next week.

Manly veteran Steve Menzies also became rugby league's leading try-scoring forward with his 147th career try.

In cold and wet conditions, the Eagles started poorly, messing up the kick off and being forced into two line drop-outs.

However they scored two quick tries and led 24-4 at half-time.

Monaghan was dominant in attack while Menzies also had a good first half.

The first try came thanks to a 40-20 kick from Monaghan. In the next set he put in a cross-field chip which found centre Paul Stephenson out wide.

Luke Williamson kicked the conversion to give them a 6-0 lead.

Stephenson then crossed over for his second try thanks to a Menzies cut-out pass which found him with enough space to drag two defenders over the line with him.

The Dragon posted their first points through Shaun Timmins in the 33rd minute.

Manly scored their fourth try of the half after the Dragons ran nearly the length of the field and looked like scoring on the siren.

Instead a loose ball metres from the Manly line was scooped up by Monaghan who found Brett Stewart outside him. Stewart then passed inside to Brett Donald who outpaced the Dragons defence to cross under the posts.

Dragons reserve Lincoln Withers scored first after the break and the conversion helped them back to 24-10.

However Manly crossed twice more to take the seemingly insurmountable 34-10 lead.

The Eagles will finish the season in 13th place regardless of next week's results.

They play the Storm at Brookvale next Sunday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you north or south of NSW, Manly and St George play in the NRL Rugby League comp here!!! I grew up 'within a bull's roar' of Manly's home ground @ Brookvale (Sydney), & used to go and watch them play there in the 70's, so I can't help but still 'follow' them - from a distance! D'oh!
Mal :o)

September 01, 2004 3:44 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home