Wests Tigers' NYC side have seen their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Friday night — defeated 40-32 by the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles.
It was a back-and-forth affair at Brookvale Oval as both teams took the lead in the final 20 minutes, but it was all in vain for the visitors, who led superbly in the first half following strong games from Te Maire Martin and Watson Heleta.
Wests Tigers took just three minutes to open the scoring through Heleta, who grabbed his 10th try in 11 NYC matches off a short ball from Martin.
Woods’ conversion came back off the post, though, and the score remained 4-0.
The hosts soon hit back through Jamil Hopoate after several repeat sets on the visitors line, with Luke Garner’s conversion giving the Sea Eagles their first lead of the night after 10 minutes. And that lead would quickly be pushed to 12-4 after a strong run from their other second rower, Rhys Armstrong, who barged through to score under the posts.
Wests Tigers would hit back, though, through a tried and tested combination — Martin feeding Lamar Liolevave for him to crash over close to the posts.
Woods converted to reduce the margin to 12-10 after 20 minutes of play.
The visitors would take back the lead in the 23rd minute as Heleta grabbed his second off a third try-assist from Martin — this time on the end of a sweeping back-line move that saw him plant the ball down in the left corner.
Woods’ conversion gave the visitors a 16-12 lead after 24 minutes of play.
Another moment of magic from Martin saw the hosts push their lead beyond a converted try, when a strong cut-out ball allowed John Ogden to barge his way over in the corner with just five minutes remaining in the half.
Woods added the extras from the left touchline to push the score to 22-12, which is how it would read at the half-time break at Brookvale Oval.
Manly hit back shortly after the break with a try down the left flank to Luke Garner in the 46th minute; the centre converting his own try to reduce the margin to less than a converted try, but it didn’t last long. Manaia Cherrington pushed Wests Tiges out to a 28-18 lead as he darted over from dummy half in the 53rd minute.
The hosts wouldn’t go away, though, and cut the margin to four points with Armstrong grabbing his second try of the night in the 60th minute.
Garner’s conversion from in front once saw the score pegged back to 28-24.
A try in the corner to Latrell Schaumkel gave Manly the lead with just 10 minutes remaining in the match after a superb sideline conversion from Garner, but once more, Wests Tigers rallied to take the lead with just seven minutes to play.
Delouise Hoeter beat three before planting the ball down in the corner, with Woods’ unsuccessful conversion giving the visitors a slender two-point lead.
However, it would be the hosts who finished the strongest, with fullback Kyle Saunders grabbing himself a double inside the final five minutes of the match to give the Sea Eagles a 12-point win in front of a good crowd at Brookvale Oval.
Final: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40 def. Wests Tigers 32