JUST when we looked set for the second Saturday night golden-point thriller in seven days, unheralded Sea Eagles winger Michael Oldfield raced 40m to shatter the Cronulla faithful Saturday night.
With Cronulla clinging to a 13-12 lead with two minutes to play, rookie Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans potted a field goal from 10m out to deadlock the scores.
Then with the home crowd of 15,133 counting down the final six seconds, Manly co-captain Jamie Lyon chipped over the top of the Sharks defence for Oldfield to swoop and steal an unlikely win. And this after Cronulla had done all the hard work for 78 minutes.
The Sea Eagles, who came back from 13-0 down, were denied a try by the video referee eight minutes in after centre Steve Matai appeared to have knocked the ball on attempting to ground it.
Sharks fullback Nathan Gardner and captain Paul Gallen looked the most likely to ignite Cronulla in a heated opening as both packs tried to establish some authority.
The Sharks were awarded a penalty when Gardner was taken midway through the opening half and quickly capitalised, powering deep into the Sea Eagles' territory.
Gallen then worked over the Manly right-edge defence, sucking in a couple of Sea Eagles before popping an offload to centre Colin Best.
Best then quickly batted the ball back to front-rower Kade Snowden, who threw a perfect cut-out pass to winger Matthew Wright for the try.
The Sea Eagles continued to ask the Sharks plenty of questions in attack, but the home side showed stoic commitment in defence.
Manly were denied a try in the 25th minute thanks to some quick thinking from Cronulla right winger John Williams, who knocked down a pass that would have sent opposite flyer Michael Robertson over.
The return of Matai from suspension added starch to the Manly attack, but the absence of fullback Brett Stewart continued to cause the Sea Eagles problems with cohesion.
Cronulla extended the lead to 6-0 with a 40m penalty goal from winger Williams three minutes before the break.
A field goal from Wade Graham on halftime gave Cronulla a 7-0 lead.
The home team were peppered by a series of cross-field kicks from Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans early in the second half.
The Sharks were up to the challenge, with wingers Wright and Williams able to counter the attacking raids.
Just when the game had settled into a classic arm-wrestle, enter Sharks prop Kade Snowden.
The NSW Origin bookend broke open a tense match with a fine try.
MANLY 19 (K Foran M Oldfield G Rose tries D Cherry-Evans 3 goals D Cherry-Evans field goal) bt CRONULLA 13 (S Flanagan M Wright tries J Williams 2 goals W Graham field goal) at Toyota Stadium. Referee: Matt Cecchin, Steve Lyons. Crowd: 15,133