ROUND 25 - 2006

Date 25th Aug 2006
Venue Brookvale Oval
Coach Steve Folkes
Captain Andrew Ryan
Referee Sean Hampstead
Crowd 20163
Bulldogs V Sea Eagles
20 21
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Scorers

Player Tries Goals F Goals Points
Hazem El Masri 0 4 0 8
Andrew Emelio 1 0 0 4
Nate Myles 1 0 0 4
Andrew Ryan 1 0 0 4

Match Review

TEAM LINE-UP:

1. Luke Patten, 2. Hazem El Masri, 3. Andrew Emelio, 4. Sonny Bill Williams, 5. Matt Utai, 6. Daniel Holdsworth, 7. Brent Sherwin, 8. Mark O'Meley, 9. Corey Hughes, 10. Chris Armit, 11. Nate Myles, 12. Andrew Ryan, 13. Reni Maitua.
Interchange: 14. Dallas McIlwain, 15. Adam Perry, 16. Brad Morrin, 17. Jarrad Hickey

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Source: AAP

Manly halfback Matt Orford has kept alive his side's top-four hopes with a match-winning field goal in the dying minutes to seal a thrilling 21-20 NRL victory over the Bulldogs at Brookvale Oval.

With the scores level and just two minutes and 10 seconds left on the clock, Orford kicked the 30-metre match winner to seal the result.

Orford's night seemed over when he hobbled from the field after sustaining a 43rd minute knee injury attempting a tackle on Bulldogs superstar Sonny Bill Williams.

But the courageous No.7, who was the dominant player before the injury, returned midway through the second half and made the match-winning play.

It's the second time this season Orford has snapped the winning field goal after also landing the knockout blow against Parramatta at the SCG.

The Bulldogs were fuming a crucial decision went against them in the 64th minute when captain Andrew Ryan was denied a line-ball try.

After watching numerous video replays, video referee Graeme West ruled against the Bulldogs, claiming Ryan lost the ball over the line.

Earlier, a capacity crowd of 20,163 had barely found their seats when Orford scored the opening try, just 75 seconds after the opening whistle.

The Manly halfback was on the spot when a Michael Monaghan kick downfield found open space and provided the home side a fortuitous bounce.

Orford was also instrumental in the Sea Eagles' second try just six minutes later, his pinpoint cross-field kick finding the chest of unmarked winger Michael Robertson.

The home side let in two soft tries to squander the early advantage, with Bulldogs forwards Nate Myles and Andrew Ryan crossing to level the scores at 12-all.

But just two minutes before the break, Manly reclaimed the advantage through interchange hooker Shayne Dunley, who crossed for a contentious try.

Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten may have tackled Dunley just short of the line, but video referee Graeme West ruled in favour of the home side.

The Sea Eagles suffered a double blow shortly after the resumption, with Orford sustaining a knee injury while attempting to tackle Sonny Bill Williams. While the No.7 was receiving attention from the trainer, Bulldogs centre Andrew Emilio crossed for a try, with El Masri's conversion levelling the scores at 18-all.

With 16 minutes remaining, Ryan looked to have broken the deadlock when he wriggled out of a Steve Bell tackle to score but the try was disallowed.

Both sides exchanged penalty goals late in the match to level the scores with eight minutes remaining.

In a further blow to the Bulldogs, back rower Brad Morrin tore his calf muscle (partial dislocation of the knee cap) late in the first half and took no further part in the match.

Data provided by Clint Crofts