When Manu Vatuvei scored his second try of the game on Sunday afternoon to cut Manly’s lead to just six points with 10 minutes remaining, there were more than a few concerned Sea Eagles standing in their in-goal.
“I personally didn't think it was going to be enough and I thought maybe a field goal was required or maybe another try,” Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans toldwww.seaeagles.com.au in the sheds after the 26-20 victory over the Warriors at Eden Park.
“We were very lucky, we made it pretty hard for ourselves. We took 16-0 lead and probably should have went on with it, but at the end of the day we got the two points.”
Manly’s early lead was whittled away by the home town Warriors while lock forward Glenn Stewart was sitting on the bench with a dislocated finger and centre Steve Mataihad joined him with an injured hand.
Stewart returned in the final minutes to seal the win, grounding a grubber kick from Cherry-Evans that Warriors fullback Kevin Locke couldn’t handle in his in-goal.
Click here for all the key moments from Manly's 26-20 Round 1 win in our special 'By The Clock' feature.
“I think it’s a credit to the boys who played out there today, when adversity came and hit us in the face, we took it on the chin and played on,” Cherry-Evans said.
“It was good to see the boys keep that winning formula going.”
Captain Jamie Lyon agreed with Cherry-Evans and said while he was happy with to win, they needed to keep improving in the coming weeks.
“Our trial games were a bit patchy, so it’s good to get a win and start our campaign. Hopefully we’ll keep improving and our standard gets a bit better.”
Cherry-Evans had earlier scored a try that must surely be in the running for an end of season award, when he finished off a freakish play created by winger David Williams in the first half. Check it out here
Next UpIn Round 2 action, the Manly Sea Eagles host the Wests Tigers at Bluetongue Stadium this Friday night, with kick-off at 7:30pm.