Late game blunder costs Sea Eagles a win against the Gold Coast.
Manly will have nightmares for the next week about the final minutes of their clash against the Gold Coast Titans after they gift wrapped them their 16-14 win at Skilled Stadium.
With time running out and the scores locked at 14-all, Manly were forced to take a drop out but could only watch on helplessly as it sailed out on the full.
The resulting penalty in front of the posts was the difference between the sides, as the Titans recorded their second win of the NRL season.
Both sides had earned the reputation for their brick wall-like defence to date this year, having conceded just 26 points between them before the start of the game.
As a result, the first half resembled trench warfare as both sides battled hard but struggled to make the most of their chances inside the opposition’s red zone.
Daly Cherry-Evans put Manly on the front foot after 10 minutes, having defended their own line for three sets in a row, with a massive 40-20 kick
Greg Bird began to look dangerous for the Titans on their left edge, sucking in defenders and looking to create second-phase plays but neither side could cross the line for the entire first half.
Manly have shown in recent seasons they are perfectly suited for a tight, grinding game, with a lead of less than 10 often enough for them to defend.
However, the Gold Coast grabbed the lead for the first time in the clash when Richie Fa’aoso was put on report for making contact to the head of Ashley Harrison, who won’t remember much of his 250th game, after being taken from the field on a medicab.
Until Aiden Sezer slotted the penalty after the Fa-aoso high shot, Manly had not conceded any points in their previous 160 minutes, but they would be forced to play catch up, trailing 2-0 at the break.
The home side got a perfect start to the second half when Ryan James smashed his way over to land a vital blow for the Titans, with Sezer’s conversion stretching the lead to eight.
David Mead scored his 43nd career try when he showed composure to latch onto an Albert Kelly grubber into the in-goal to give the Titans a massive lead in the context of the game.
Manly began their comeback when Jorge Taufua scored a vital try for Manly in the corner to put them back into the contest, however, Lyon’s conversion was waved away leaving the Sea Eagles 10 behind.
Horribly the Titans’ restart went out on the full, with Manly’s Tom Symonds crashing over from the resulting set of six to put the result back on the table.
Lyon continued his unhappy night with the boot with his second missed conversion forcing extra pressure on his side as they trailed 14-8.
Soon after Steve Matai looked to have blown a certain try, when after a bullocking run and line break, he opted to grubber to Taufau rather than hit a flying Brett Stewart on the inside with a pass, with the Titans scrambling well in defence.
The Titans lost their first five home games in 2012, but they inched closer to winning their first two this season.
Nerves in the home side were on edge when a piece of Matai brilliance saw him put a grubber through close to the Titans’ defence allowed Taufua to touch down for his second try for the game.
And with Lyon’s sideline conversion the game was locked up with nine minutes remaining.
Sezer attempted to be the Titans’ hero with an attempted field goal but it was charged down by Anthony Watmough.
However, the horror drop-out by Manly saw them gift wrap the Titans a penalty right in front of the posts, which Sezer duly slotted to seal an impressive start to the Titaan’s premiership campaign.