Manly Sea Eagles fight back to overcome Penrith


Mon, Jul 24, 2006 - Page 19

A 15m penalty goal awarded under controversial circumstances gave the Manly Sea Eagles a 32-30 comeback win over the Penrith Panthers in Australia's National Rugby League yesterday.

With the two sides level at 30-30 and seven minutes remaining, referee Jason Robinson ruled Penrith second rower Frank Puletua took out Matt Orford late after the Manly halfback put a kick downfield.

Despite protests from several Panthers players that Puletua could not have pulled out of the hit, Robinson handed the Sea Eagles, who trailed 24-6 at halftime, a penalty. Manly five-eighth Travis Burns slotted the kick straight between the posts.

In other matches yesterday, Jarryd Hayne scored twice to lead the Parramatta Eels to a 34-6 win over the Wests Tigers -- teenager Hayne's 12th try in nine games for the Eels -- and the Canberra Raiders beat St George Illawarra 31-12.

North Queensland rebounded from the loss of star playmaker Johnathan Thurston to upset Brisbane 26-10 on Saturday. Thurston suffered a medial ligament strain and a dislocated right kneecap when he was sideswiped on a tackle.

He initially thought he might be out for the season, but doctors yesterday told him four weeks was a more likely scenario.

"I'll just rehab like crazy and be back in a couple of weeks I'm hoping," Thurston said.

Matt Sing scored three tries for the winners and Matt Bowen set up all five Cowboys' tries.

Newcastle consolidated its place in the top eight with a 24-18 win over South Sydney. Knights captain Andrew Johns scored one try in a personal total of 12 points and threw the final pass for two other touchdowns to help the home side break a losing streak.

The Bulldogs beat the Sydney Roosters 25-0 and first-place Melbourne stayed six points clear of the second-place Bulldogs with a 28-12 win over Cronulla on Friday.