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Manly Sea Eagles move into 1st place in National Rugby League with win over Gold Coast

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SYDNEY - The Manly Sea Eagles moved into first place in the tight National Rugby League minor premiership race on Sunday with a 15-12 win over the Gold Coast Titans.

With three rounds remaining in the regular season, Manly has a two-point lead over South Sydney and four over the defending champion Sydney Roosters and Penrith Panthers.

In the other Sunday match, 18-year-old Newcastle rookie Sione Mata'utia scored three tries as the Knights beat the New Zealand Warriors 28-22. A late inclusion on the wing after Akuila Uate was ruled out with a knee injury, Mata'utia led the Knights to their sixth win from their last eight games.

The Roosters kept pace when they scored eight tries in 36 minutes to beat Wests Tigers 48-4 before a crowd of 5,297 at rain-swept Leichardt Oval in Sydney, the lowest attendance in the NRL this season. Melbourne led 30-0 at halftime and went on to beat Cronulla 48-6.

St. George Illawarra stand-in captain Josh Morris scored three tries to help the Dragons end a 14-season-long losing streak in the Australian capital with a 34-16 win over the Canberra Raiders. It was the Dragons' first win at Canberra Stadium since 2000 and just their third against the Raiders in their past 20 matches.

Canterbury ended a four-match losing streak with an 18-16 win over Parramatta, a slide which saw them drop from first to eighth place.

Greg Inglis scored three tries as South Sydney stayed among the top three with a 42-16 win over Brisbane.

The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Broncos, who have won the NRL premiership six times, most recently in 2006. The Broncos must win their last three regular-season games and hope other results go their way if they want to avoid missing the finals for a second consecutive year.

"As you saw tonight, he can do things that no one else can do if he puts himself at the right place at the right time," Brisbane coach Anthony Griffin said of Inglis.

Wayne Bennett, who coached the Broncos to those six premiership wins and is the current Newcastle coach, will return to Brisbane next year to replace Griffin.

Fourth-place Penrith plays North Queensland on Monday to conclude the 23rd round.

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