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Eels mowed down by Manly

The Eels suffered a 32-18 defeat to the Manly Sea Eagles in ANZAC Round on Friday.

Despite a spirited start and an eight-point half-time lead, the Eels were chased down in the second stanza and put to bed in the closing stages while down a player.

The Sea Eagles were reduced to 12 players inside five minutes after Haumole Olakau’atu was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Shaun Lane.

Clint Gutherson accepted the gift two points to put Parramatta ahead early.

The Eels were unable to find the try line while Manly were down a man, but eventually did so in the 17th minute.

A show of desperation by Morgan Harper to keep the play alive and a basketball pass by Clint Gutherson gave Maika Sivo a glimpse of the try line, and the returning winger did the rest to score the opening try.

Maika marks his return

Manly drew level in the 28th minute when Tommy Talau pounced on a clever kick by Luke Brooks, but the first half would belong to Parramatta.

The Eels leaned to their left edge once again in the 33rd minute, as Gutherson unleashed Sivo with a cut-out pass. The winger had plenty of work to do with 20 metres and defenders ahead of him, but made light work of the situation to score a trademark Sivo try.

Sivo unstoppable for his second

Five minutes later, Parramatta turned their attention to the opposite edge to cap off a fantastic first half.

A string of perfectly timed passes by Dylan Brown, Clint Gutherson and Will Penisini created a clear path to the try line for Bailey Simonsson, and he leaped his way to the stripe as defenders loomed.

Simonsson scores an Eels stunner

All three of Parramatta’s sideline conversion attempts were unsuccessful, but the Eels took a 14-6 lead to the break.

Manly returned from halftime with all guns blazing, as two quickfire tries to Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans saw the Sea Eagles snatch an 18-14 lead by the 50th minute.

The hosts threatened to pile on another, but were stopped in their tracks by Will Penisini’s professional foul. The centre was sin binned, and Manly elected for a penalty goal to hit a six-point advantage with 22 minutes remaining.

Another try seemed imminent when Luke Brooks broke into the backfield, before Bailey Simonsson made a terrific tackle to force an error and relieve the pressure.

It proved a pivotal play, as the Eels managed to keep Manly try-less and then scored themselves in Penisini’s absence.

A bouncing bomb left the Sea Eagles’ defence scattered, and the ball found its way to Junior Paulo out wide. The Eels prop read the situation well, and sent Maika Sivo over the line to complete his hat-trick.

Sivo completes comeback hat-trick

Dylan Brown assumed goal-kicking duties, but he was unable to add the extras from the sideline and Manly remained two points ahead with 14 minutes to play.

The Eels’ momentum was quickly extinguished, however, as Sivo was sin binned just minutes later. The Sea Eagles immediately capitalised on the advantage, with Rueben Garrick scoring through the undermanned left edge.

Another Garrick try sealed the Eels’ fate, as Manly came away with a 14-point win.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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