The Vodafone Junior Warriors were denied the chance to stay in touch with the top eight when they fell to an upset 22-32 loss against Manly in today’s 19th-round NYC match at Brookvale Oval in Sydney.
Twice they closed to within two points of the Sea Eagles in a high-scoring second half but each time the home side responded soon after to move clear again.
After being 6-14 behind at halftime, the Vodafone Junior Warriors opened the scoring in the second half with the first of Isaiah Papalii’s two tries, Kane Telea’s conversion cutting the margin to 12-14.
Almost immediately Manly went 20-12 ahead only for the Vodafone Junior Warriors to strike with a Tyler Mohi try to draw back to 18-20.
It was then that Manly made the match-winning break, two Billy Bainbridge converted tries taking it out to a 32-18 lead leaving the Vodafone Junior Warriors too far behind to recover although Papalii did score his second try late in the contest.
Manly had started the match with two unconverted tries before captain Sheldon Pitama crossed and Kane Telea converted. Close to halftime the Sea Eagles scored their third try to have an eight-point lead at the break.
The Vodafone Junior Warriors, who started the match in 10th spot, handed NYC debuts to two more players Preston Riki and Jarel HemeHema.
Match details | Brookvale Oval, Sydney
Manly Sea Eagles 32 (Billy Bainbridge 2, Luke Polselli, Harlan Collins, Tevita Funa, Cade Cust tries; Nicho Hynes 4 conversions).
Vodafone Junior Warriors 22 (Isaiah Papalii 2, Sheldon Pitama, Tyler Mohi tries; Kane Telea 3 conversions).
Referee: Adam Cassidy.
Vodafone Junior Warriors | Kane Telea; Preston Riki, Junior Pauga, Alfred Smalley, Matt Faitotoa; Eiden Ackland, Jarel HemeHema; Kenese Kenese, Sheldon Pitama (c), Chris Sio; Jerome Mamea, Joseph Vuna; Joseph Price. Interchange: Tyler Mohi, Isaiah Papalii, Mattais Heimuli, Melino Fineanganofo.