Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
The Manly Sea Eagles have entrenched themselves firmly into the NRL top 8, with an impressive 24-14 victory over the Cronulla Sharks at Pointsbet Stadium.
The Sharks were looking emulate the fortunes of their number one ticket holder - Prime Minister Scott Morrison - as they took on a Manly side keen to bounce back from a tough loss against Brisbane last weekend.
Like last night's election, the contest started pretty evenly but as Manly begun to mount field position and possession, it didn't take long for the Maroon & White to cross the line when Jake Trbojevic found Addin Fonua-Blake with a good short ball for the Sea Eagles to open the scoring and go 6-0 up.
Cronulla then brought things back within two points when Kyle Flanagan kicked in behind and Bronson Xerri was able to charge through the and clean up after Aaron Gray and Brendan Elliott had gone down contesting the kick and Xerri grabbed the four-pointer uncontested.
Manly continued to build dominance and added another try through Brendan Elliott who was able to get on the outside of Josh Morris and make the Sharks centre backtrack, Elliot having too much speed and picking up his side's second four-pointer. Reuben Garrick added the important conversion to take Manly out to a 12-4 lead.
Just short of the half-time break, the Sea Eagles extended their lead when Josh Dugan spilt a Kane Elgey bomb, the visiting halfback picking up the ball and scoring, then with Garrick adding the conversion they led 18-4 at the break.
The second half started in disastrous circumstances for Cronulla when Manly added their next try, which came off a yet another Josh Dugan error at the back, and when Sosaia Feki elected to not make a play at the ball when in an offside position, it gave Dylan Walker an easy passage to the ball.
The Sharks were able to make things interesting with two more tries before the game concluded, the first came through some brilliant work from Braden Hamlin-Uele when he earnt a penalty just 11 metres out from the Manly line and the Sharks' big man forced his way over the line after taking a quick tap, spotting the Eagles' defence on the retreat.
Cronulla's third try came off the back of one of the numerous kicks put in by the Sharks halves towards the Manly line, this one came when Chad Townsend was able to break free of a Walker tackle which opened up the space out wide for the hosts, and Townsend's kick found Feki who scored. While they continued to build pressure they couldn't get through the line after that point, and the Sea Eagles held on for a 24-14 victory.
Next weekend, the Shire side are travelling down the F6 for a Sunday afternoon trip to Wollongong against the Dragons, whilst Manly return to Brookvale to host the the Titans in the early Friday game.
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 14 - Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24
Venue: PointsBet Stadium
Halftime Score: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Brendan Elliot
2 points - Addin Fonua-Blake
1 points - Kane Elgey
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (14)
Tries: Bronson Xerri, Braden Hamlin-uele, Sosaia Feki
Conversions: Kyle Flanagan (1/3)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (24)
Tries: Addin Fonua-Blake, Brendan Elliott, Kane Elgey, Dylan Walker
Conversions: Reuben Garrick (4/4)