Sea Eagles 24
The Warriors have once again given up an 18-point first half lead to lose 24-22 to the Sea Eagles in Perth tonight.
The Sea Eagles scored three tries in the last ten minutes to clinch the win and keep their top four hopes alive, while the Warriors' playoff hopes are surely over following another disappointing capitulation.
After scoring three un-answered tries in the first half the Warriors looked the real-deal. They were strong, clinical and intense, and put in 39 minutes of exceptional league.
But they gave the Sea Eagles a sniff by conceding a soft try on the halftime whistle and memories of last week's slippery demise to the Knights - after being in the same position - were surely in the players' thinking at the break.
Stand in skipper Manu Vatuvei led the charge after halftime, increasing the Warriors' lead to 16 with a trademark try out wide, but could do little to stop the oncoming Sea Eagles route.
They finished with four tries in 23 minutes to win the match and once again raise the question, are the Warriors fit enough?
After twice in a row conceding a spate of late tries, coach Brian McClennan will face another tough week of questioning as the top eight playoff spots fade into the distance.
Kevin Locke rewarded the Warriors for some early pressure in the seventh minute, bursting through the Sea Eagles' line and smuggling the ball down for an easy James Maloney conversion.
The Warriors then lost star centre Konrad Hurrell to an ankle injury in the 15th minute, but it didn't affect their dynamic attack, with Shaun Johnson doubling their lead with some fancy footwork soon after.
Johnson was at the centre of action again for the Warriors' third try - receiving, spinning and kicking wide for Vatuvei who climbed, caught and offloaded exceptionally to Lewis Brown who ducked in over the line.
But just as they had last week, the Warriors conceded a late try right on halftime - Jorge Tafua breaking free down the left wing to outsprint the Warriors defence over 60 metres.
Vatuvei got the Warriors off to the perfect start in the second half when he touched down for his 99th career try in his 147th game.
But David Williams, Kieran Foran and Daly Cherry-Evans (2) all scored second half tries for the Sea Eagles to clinch the match with two minutes to play.
Manly 24 (J.Taufua try; D.Williams try D.Cherry-Evans 2 tries, K.Foran try; J.Lyon 3 goals)
Warriors 22 (K.Locke try, S.Johnson try, L.Brown try, M.Vatuvei try; J.Maloney 3 goals)
- HERALD ONLINE