by Nathan Beuman
The Cronulla Sharks Holden Cup side has gone down 36-32 to the Manly Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.
In a seesawing battle that featured plenty of points and a sin-binning, Manly managed to get their second win of the season.
Despite a lack of possession in the opening stages, a lost ball from Manly gave the Sharks good field position, before Valentine Holms decided to spread the ball wide to Taylar Garrett, with the centre crossinged for the first points of the afternoon in the 8th minute.
Valentine Holmes was unable to convert the try, leaving the scores at 4-0.
Manly managed to hit back in the 14th minute, when halfback Zach Nicholls popped the ball up to a charging Liam Knight, who put the ball down just to the left of the uprights.
Michael Stigg was able to convert the try, giving Manly a 6-4 lead.
The home side was in again just six minutes later, when James Mirceski charged his way over to extend the lead out to 10-4, following the missed conversion from Stigg.
The Sea Eagles found their next points courtesy of some expansive play, finding an unmarked Kyle Saunders on the right edge in the 25th minute.
Stigg was again unable to convert the try from the sideline, leaving Manly’s lead at 16-4.
Off the kickoff, Manly sliced through some sloppy Cronulla defence, before Tom Trbojevic found an unmarked Stigg who scored under the posts.
He converted his own try, giving Manly a 22-4 lead with 13 minutes remaining in the half.
Cronulla hit back through Fa’amanu Brown, before Holmes converted the easy kick to bring the scores back to 22-10 with nine minutes remaining.
The Sharks managed to score two converted tries against an undermanned Manly line just before the break, when Will Pearsall was sin binned for not allowing Cronulla to play the ball, putting the scores at 22-all heading into the break.
An acrobatic putdown from Dallas Wells just after the break gave the lead back to Cronulla, with Holmes unable to convert the try, leaving the scores at 26-22.
Some quick hands from the home side had Luke Gosling in in the left corner, drawing Manly back level at 26-points all. Stigg was able to knock over the conversion from the sideline, however Manly were in front once again at 28-26 with 25 minutes remaining in the half.
A cutout ball from Trbojebic had Gosling in for his second try in five minutes, extending Manly’s lead to 32-26 lead.
Cronulla hit back straight away after the Sea Eagles allowed the kickoff to bounce, with Holmes shaking off two defenders to slam the ball down and bring the visitors to within two.
Holmes was able to convert his own try, putting the scores at 32 all with 15 minutes remaining.
An error from Holmes at the back gifted great field position to the home side and it was Charlie Taylor scoring the game winner, the winger getting the ball over his Sharks opposite with ten minutes remaining.
Stigg was unable to convert the try, with the score remaining at 36-32 but it would be enough to secure the home team their second victory of 2014.
NYC SHARKS 32
Fa’amanu Brown 2, Sage Wilder, Taylar Garrett, Dallas Wells, Valentine Holmes tries, Holmes 4 goals