Daly Cherry Evans’ superb season for Manly continued on Sunday, slotting a golden-point winning field goal to sink Canberra 21-20 at Lottoland.
But Canberra lost no admirers in the brutal NRL clash, after they lost two forwards in the first 20 minutes but overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to send the game into extra time.
Without Kangaroos prop Shannon Boyd and interchange forward Dunamis Lui due to knee injuries a quarter of the way into the match, the Raiders inched back from a 20-6 halftime scoreline.
Winger Jordan Rapana was in everything, scoring both of the Raiders’ second-half tries – including a 70-metre run in the 70th minute to put Canberra back within two.
He also set up the Raiders’ only first-half try for Blake Austin after he broke away down field, capping off a 203-metre display that included seven tackle busts.
Jarrod Croker then sent the match into golden point when he slotted over a goal after the siren when Manly were penalised for holding on in a tackle.
But their comeback was cruelly ended when Junior Paulo spilled a ball in their first set of golden point, allowing Cherry-Evans to slot over the match-winner.
The Manly halfback had been the Sea Eagles’ best as they claimed just their second win from six matches at Lottoland this season.
He set up Manly’s opening try with a bullet pass for Dylan Walker.
Cherry Evans bagged a try himself, one of three his side would score in an 11 minute period before the break.
His kicking game was also at its best. He forced five line dropouts with his boot – including one in the second half when he chased his own kick from near halfway.
It was the second time Manly have claimed victory over the Raiders in golden point this season, having also beaten them 20-18 in Canberra in round six.
Meanwhile Lui’s injury was believed to have been the worse of the two for the front-rowers. He may have suffered a possible season-ending anterior cruciate ligament, while Boyd’s damage is yet to be determined.