Following a contentious tie at 12-all just before the half-time, despite Sea Eagles‘ control of the initial half, the team strove to stay in the game.
Warren Smith declared, “I suspect we won’t witness a kicking duel again for some time.”
Meanwhile, on Channel 9, Mat Thompson noted, “A kick right off the bat — it’s a kicking duel. This brings us straight back to 1989. Quite an unexpected turn in the game for 2023.”
In response, Billy Slater simply questioned, “What just happened?”
The public’s reaction was notably divided on social media.
Fox League commentator Andrew Voss took it upon himself to bid farewell to the kicking duel.
In the aftermath, Manly’s coach Anthony Seibold revealed that the unconventional tactic was indeed a premeditated one, designed to unsettle the Panthers. Nevertheless, it resulted in the opposite effect.
Seibold admitted that the plan had been to avoid matching the Panthers‘ play only to then, tragically, backfire.
According to him, the team had discussed reciprocating tactics at length during training. Despite losing two players in the first four minutes of the second half, the coach praised the courage of the team. It was indeed a disappointment for them, since he believed they had done enough to secure a win.
Reaffirming the statement, Captain Daly Cherry-Evans added that the play had indeed been rehearsed during training. Unfortunately, it didn’t yield the desired results due to potentially some defensive oversight during the kick. He admitted that they failed to carry out certain key moments, consequently a skilled team like Penrith was successful.