|Match Date||14th Apr, 2007|
|Venue||Homebush (Telstra Stadium)|
Manly have continued their remarkable undefeated start to the NRL season by coming from behind to defeat a brutal Bulldogs outfit 16-14 at Telstra Stadium.
In a punishing encounter highlighted by some heavy hits in defence, the Sea Eagles emerged triumphant with a three tries to two victory in front of 20,269 fans to remain at the top of the ladder after five rounds.
With the Dogs' kennel of world-class forwards dishing out some bone-crunching tackles, it took a clever piece of individual brilliance from halfback Michael Monaghan to deliver Manly victory.
Trailing 14-10 with 10 minutes remaining, Monaghan ran to the line and chipped over the top, regathering the ball on the full then offloading to centre Steve Bell who scored less than 10m in from touch.
Ice-cool centre Jamie Lyon calmly slotted the conversion to give the Eagles the lead and surely cement his selection in the Kangaroos Test team to be named on Sunday after a superb performance.
The Bulldogs had appeared on track to end the Eagles' perfect start to 2007 when they led 6-4 at halftime and Sonny Bill Williams emerged from the break to rattle Manly.
First he lined up Brent Kite with a massive shoulder charge, then next tackle knocked the ball out of Anthony Watmough's hands.
Seconds later he ran onto a Mark O'Meley short ball to sprint 20m and score.
But Manly hit in the 49th minute when Dogs winger Hazem El Masri fumbled an awkwardly bouncing grubber from Monaghan straight into winger Chris Hicks' hands and he scored the simplest of tries, Lyon's conversion reducing the deficit to 12-10.
Despite a woeful first-half performance littered with handling errors from both sides, the Dogs assumed the lead just five minutes from the break after an inspired piece of play by replacement Dallas McIlwain.
McIlwain tackled Manly backrower Anthony Watmough 10m out from the Sea Eagles line forcing a handling error.
He then grabbed the ball from dummy half and charged straight for the tryline, dragging Watmough all the way with him to score.
Earlier, the Sea Eagles had grabbed the lead when winger Michael Robertson crossed in the corner after just 12 minutes.
Monaghan drifted across the park and then looped a long cut out pass to Robertson who was free on his left wing and able to sprint about 10m and dive into the corner.
|Hazem El Masri||Wing||0||3||0||6|
|Daniel Holdsworth||Five Eighth||0||0||0||0|
|Ben Roberts||Half Back||0||0||0||0|
|Sonny Bill Williams||Second Row||1||0||0||4|
|Andrew Ryan||Second Row||0||0||0||0|
|Willie Mason||Front Row||0||0||0||0|
|Mark O'Meley||Front Row||0||0||0||0|