Matai’s double as Manly bt Warriors in NRL

Veteran centre Steve Matai has grabbed a double for Manly to maintain their status as a bogey team for the Warriors with a 34-18 NRL win in Auckland.

It was the Sea Eagles’ fourth victory in a row over the Warriors and their 10th in the past 11 meetings between the sides.

The result takes Manly to 3-3 for the season and above the Warriors on the table.

Matai’s second try came nine minutes from time on Saturday night and effectively sealed the result.

Warriors centre Solomon Kata replied with his seventh try of the season with five minutes to go.

But the Sea Eagles had the final say, winger Tom Trbojevic scoring his side’s fifth four-pointer in the final minute.

The Eagles set the platform with a dominant start, monopolising possession as they built a 12-0 lead.

Back-rower Martin Taupau grabbed the first try in the seventh minute, after opposition winger Tuimoala Lolohea couldn’t clean up a kick by stand-in halfback Apisai Koroisau, who had a strong game.

The visitors went further ahead midway through the half as prop Josh Starling crossed from close range.

From there, the Warriors began to work themselves back into the contest.

From a repeat set, they received a penalty when fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was held down.

Tuivasa-Sheck took a quick tap and was stopped just before the line, but centre Blake Ayshford went over out wide.

Manly opened out the margin early in the second half after Kata had appeared to make it out of the in-goal, only for a line dropout to be ruled.

From the ensuing possession, Matai grabbed his first try.

Warriors hooker Issac Luke gave the home side hope when he barged over from dummy half, before Matai completed his brace.

Two players were put on report, Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker for a trip and Warriors prop Jacob Lillyman for a high tackle.

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