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Dylan Walker kicks Sea Eagles home in golden point thriller with Raiders

21 April 2017 10:41 AM
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Dylan Walker kicks Sea Eagles home in golden point thriller with Raiders

After spraying two shots for goal, Manly centre Dylan Walker stepped up with a clutch kick.

It was a thriller at GIO stadium as Manly beat Canberra 19-18 in a golden point thriller on Friday and it was Walker’s right boot which broke the hearts of the Green Machine.

“He’s a special player, Dylan. He’s born for those sort of moments. I don’t think there was a question that he wouldn’t take that kick.”

Minutes before Joe Tapine was penalised for a strip which gifted the shot at goal, Jarrod Croker had a three-on-one situation but Croker lost his footing 10 metres from the line to deny his team.

“I couldn’t get through. We’ve got to get over it pretty quickly and move forward.”

It was a seesawing affair which saw the visitors take an early lead courtesy of a Walker penalty goal six minutes in.

Trailing by two, Aidan Sezer toed ahead for his skipper 24 minutes in. It was a footrace between Jarrod Croker and Aku Uate but it was the centre who won to give his men the lead.

Barrett’s men appeared to have stolen the lead back when Addin Fonua-Blake went within an inch of the line but Jack Wighton produced a clutch tackled to deny the big man.

Then on the edge of halftime a Blake Green grubber hit the uprights and bounce into the in-goal but again Wighton produced by beating Jake Trbojevic to ground the ball.

Leading 6-2 at the break, Josh Hodgson squared up Josh Paplii one on one with Daly Cherry-Evans who was trampled.

The backrower then went over the top of Walker and Tom Trbojevic to get the Green Machine ahead by 10.

Junior Paulo was given a free run to the line and appeared to have scored but replays showed the ball went within inches of hitting the turf as Api Koroisau’s knee kept him up.

Josh Paplii rag dolled Api Koroisau, tearing his jersey to shreds in the process and Shannon Boyd manhandled Marty Taupau two metres from his own line to defend a try.

The Raiders lost Joey Leilua to a HIA test when he was hit in some friendly fire by Wighton as they tackled Brian Kelly.

In need of something special, the Sea Eagles settled for lucky when a Cherry-Evans grubber bounced off the legs of Sia Soliola and into the hands of Jake Trbojevic who crashed over.

A few minutes passed and the visitors levelled after Lewis Brown put a hard running Walker through the line.

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They secured repeat sets, applied pressure but soft back-to-back penalties walked the Raiders up the park and gifted Croker a goal to level up 14-all after 65 minutes.

With the game in the balance, Green grubber into the legs of Soliola and when an off-side Elliott Whitehead fell on the floor, the referee awarded a penalty.

A massive touch finder from Blake Austin from a scrum penalty put the Raiders 30 metres from the opposition line with eight left on the clock.

Seconds later Austin kicked for Jordan Rapana who produced a try which should’ve been physically impossible to score.

The ball was over the sideline and dead ball, with a Superman-like reach, the winger plucked the ball from the air and slammed it down inside the in-goal.

“You can’t do it. It’s physically impossible,” Fox Sports commentator Andrew Voss declared. “The ball’s running away from you. No human can do that.”

Croker missed the shot at goal and just when you though the game was over, Cherry-Evans put Frank Winterstein through a hole.


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