In a see-sawing affair, the NSW Cup side have this afternoon been defeated 18-14 at ANZ Stadium.
It was three tries a-piece but kicking proved to be the difference with Sea-Eagles five-eighth Kurt Aldridge converting after all tries.
There were a number of changes to the side as the injury and suspension toll rolled itself throughout the club.
Back to back penalties in the 15th minute sent the Bulldogs down field and into the attacking zone and they didn’t disappoint, opting to shift the ball to the left and McInally went over in the north-west corner. It was a long ball from Jaline Graham who sent the Queenslander into space. Levi Dood had the kicking duties and beautifully converted from the sideline to give the blue and whites a 6-nil lead.
The lead was shortly cancelled out when Manly lock forward Michael Chee Kam took a strong carry at the line and busted through to score. Again, it was a weight of possession that put the visitors in a commanding position and they took full advantage. Aldridge converted to level the scores at 6-all.
With just five minutes left before the break Manly extended their lead through halfback Manaia Rudolph. Aldridge converted to put them in front 12-6 up until the half-time break.
The second half started just as the Bulldogs wanted with McInally going over for his second try of the afternoon just four minutes after the restart. Again it was a flow of possession and stringing sets together that brought about the four-pointer. In similar fashion to the first, a shift to the left and a smart approach to the line gave the side the reward. Dodd couldn’t convert on this occasion with the Bulldogs jumping into the lead, 14-12.
The side were crushed in the 73rd minute when a loose ball was picked up on the 20m line by the Sea-Eagles and Chee Kam ran 80m basically untouched to score under the uprights. Aldridge converted and the Sea-Eagles had hit the lead for the second time throughout the match.
It was all out attack from the Bulldogs but they couldn’t cross the line and the men from north of the bridge managed to hold on for a 18-14 win.
SEA-EAGLES 18 (Chee Kam 2, Rudolph Tries; Aldridge 3 Goals)
BULLDOGS 14 (McInally 2, Tasi Tries; Dodd Goals)
At: ANZ Stadium