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Match Report - Round 8 2002

EAGLES DIG DEEP FOR MIGHTY WIN
mightyeagles.com.au, 6 May '02

A Steve Menzies inspired Eagles showed great courage and will to win to beat St.George Illawarra 22-16 in a Brookvale Oval thriller.

Menzies made a desperate last second tackle to dislodge the ball from Dragons winger Matt Cooper and ensure his side took victory before a happy and vocal crowd of almost 12,000.

The Eagles paid dearly for the victory with gutsy half and goalkicker Jason Ferris receiving a suspected broken forearm in the second half.

A patched up Eagles were forced to use rookie hooker Chad Randall at halfback in a tense final 25 minutes but the youngster and his team mates rose to the challenge.

The Manly club song was sung with great gusto in the Eagles dressing room with club legend Ken Arthurson paying tribute to the players.

Coach Peter Sharp described the win as a courageous one for his team.

"They dug deep and were willing to do whatever was needed to win the game,"Sharp said.

The Eagles led 6 nil when centre Scott Pethybridge scored after an excellent bust by improving forward Wade Forrester.Jason Ferris converted for a 6 nil lead but the Dragons levelled soon after when Trent Barrett scored off a Jason Ryles pass.

The Dragons hit the lead in controversial circumstances when the Eagles had 12 men after second rower Gary Winter was knocked senseless by a Ryles tackle which was put on report.

The Eagles staff were escorting Winter from the field and had no replacement on the field when the Dragons winger Cooper scored.

The trainers and skipper Steve Menzies complained bitterly to referee Steve Clarke.

Two Ferris penalty goals levelled the scores at 10 all at half time.

In a thrilling second half which had the fans in full voice the Eagles clawed their way to 16-10 with an Albert Torrens try which was converted by
Scott Pethybridge.

The Saints got back to 16-14 before Nik Kosef scored a try in the corner to give the home side the buffer needed to win the game.

The Saints hit back with four minutes remaining to set up a chance to draw the game but Menzies wasn't allowing this match to slip.

In first division the Eagles remain unbeaten after a stunning second half comeback to beat the Dragons 34-28 after being behind 28 nil at half time.

The comeback was simply awesome and featured some brilliant team football with Tasesa Lavea in outstanding form along with replacement hooker Craig
Haynes.

In Jersey Flegg the young Eagles fought hard before going down 29-22 to the Dragons

EAGLES 22
Tries: Nik Kosef, Scott Pethybridge, Albert Torrens.
Goals: Jason Ferris 3 from 4, Scott Pethybridge 1 from 1, Brendon Reeves 1 from 2

DRAGONS 18
Tries: Trent Barrett, Nathan Blacklock, Matt Cooper, Justin Smith.
Goals: Aaron Gorrell 1 from 3, Amos Roberts 0 from 1.

Brookvale Oval, 5 May '02
Crowd: 11,847

Referee: Steve Clarke

Eagles Team:

Brendon Reeves,
Lenny Beckett,
Albert Torrens,
Scott Pethybridge
John Hopoate,
Luke Dorn,
Jason Ferris,
Nathan Long,
Jamie Goddard,
David Westley,
Wade Forrester,
Nik Kosef
Steve Menzies (c).

Replacements:
Jason King
Mal Kaufusi,
Chad Randall,
Gary Winter.