An 79th minute sideline conversion by Mitchell Moses snatched a 22-20 win for Parramatta as Manly were unable to hold on after losing Tom Trbojevic to injury.
Trbojevic was in obvious pain after dislocating his left shoulder diving on a kick in the Sea Eagles in-goal midway through the second half and is in serious doubt to play for NSW in the June 8 Origin opener.
Manly led 20-16 at the time and defended bravely but were unable to hold on without Trbojevic and the sinbinning of forward Sean Keppie in the 73rd minute.
Moses was also sin-binned just before halftime for a professional foul and the Sea Eagles took advantage to race to a 20-10 lead but they were unable to withstand the sustained pressure from the Eels.
Tom Trbojevic leaves the field injured
Will Penisini finally scored in the 79th minute and Moses converted from the sideline to snatch the gripping win.
Manly had three players placed on report, including winger Christian Tuipulotu, who made a try saving tackle to prevent Parramatta's Hayze Perham scoring a hat-trick in the dying minutes.
“It wasn’t high. It was a good tackle. It’s a brave tackle, it was what you call a try saver," Manly coach Des Hasler said.
The Sea Eagles were also on the end of a 9-2 penalty count and Hasler questioned some of the decisions by referee Ben Cummins and the match officials.
Match: Eels v Sea Eagles
Round 11 -
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
- Reuben Garrick opened the scoring in the 14th minute after Josh Schuster intercepted a Mitchell Moses pass and Jake Trbojevic, Kieran Foran, Tom Trbojevic and Morgan Harper shifted the ball quickly to the goalkicking winger a few tackles later.
- The Eels hit back almost immediately when second-rowers Isaiah Papali'i and Ryan Matterson combined before Mitchell Moses, Dylan Brown and Tom Opacic shifted the ball quickly for winger Hayze Perham to cross in the corner.
Perham hits straight back for the Eels
- Christian Tuipulotu put the Sea Eagles further ahead in the 21st minute when he scored in the corner after receiving a 20-metre cut-out pass from skipper Daly Cherry-Evans.
- In a case of "anything you can do, I can do too", Eels captain Clint Gutherson - playing his 150th game - laid on Perham's second try with a similarly long cut-out pass for the unmarked winger to stroll over and score 10 minutes before halftime.
Hayze Perham hits back yet again
- Eels halfback Mitchell Moses was sinbinned just before halftime for pulling back Tom Trbojevic as the Manly superstar backed up a Lachlan Croker break from dummy half.
- The Sea Eagles took advantage of the extra man in the 45th minute when Dylan Walker put Tom Trbojevic in between Bailey Simonsson and Will Penisini, and the star fullback sent Harper racing away to score.
Turbo opens up to give Harper a try
- The return of Moses made little difference after Matterson put the ball down near halfway and Garrick pounced on a Foran grubber to score his second try in the 51st minute.
- The Eels narrowed the deficit to 20-16 when Shaun Lane put Tom Opacic over for a 60th minute try after running onto an inside ball from Gutherson and popping an offload near the line for the centre.
Tom Opacic ices a lovely Eels try
- Sea Eagles prop Sean Keppie was sent to the sin bin seven minutes before fulltime for a lifting tackle and the Eels ramped up the pressure.
- Tuipulotu denied Perham a third try but was placed on report of a high tackle in the process and it was too much of an ask for Manly to hold on, with Will Penisini scoring two minutes from fulltime and Moses converting from the sideline.
Penisini scores to drag the Eels in it
Play of the game
With just 90 seconds remaining on the clock and the game on the line, Mitchell Moses ignored the pressure and pouring rain to converted Will Penisini's try from the sideline and snatch a 22-20 win for Parramatta.
Moses clutch from the side line
What they said
"Mitch needed to kick that. He probably wasn't real happy with his game tonight but when it mattered he iced that kick. A couple of games in the past we have led and been run down so I thought we played the long game really well. We were nice and patient and calm, we had a man in the bin just before halfitme and we were down by 10 points so I thought it was true character what we showed tonight. That was probably one of the best games I have seen Manly play this year": Eels coach Brad Arthur.
Bulldogs: Round 11
"Tom has got a dislocated shoulder We won't be able to determine the extent of the damage until scans are done. He will be bitterly disappointed, he takes it very hard. He sort of blames himself but he is just having one of those runs at the moment and he will bounce back. I think there was plenty of character shown tonight. We can compete and we are going to need to. Arguably we were the better side but didn't get the points," Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler.
Sea Eagles: Round 11
The Eels travel to the national capital next Sunday to take on the Raiders, while the Sea Eagles face the Storm in Melbourne on Thursday night.
Fiji winger Maika Sivo scored two tries in his return from ACL surgery in Friday night's NSW Cup clash and is likely to be rushed into the Parramatta side for the trip to Canberra.
The major issue for Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler is obviously the injury to Tom Trbojevic.
Keppie sent to the bin
Manly second-rower Haumole Olakau'atu (crusher), prop Sean Keppie (dangerous throw) and winger Christian Tuipulotu (high tackle) were placed on report and will be eagerly awaiting the charges issued by the match review committee on Saturday.