It was an extraordinary night in Melbourne as Manly Sea Eagles recorded their first win over the Storm since 2015 with a 24-4 victory.
In a scrappy first half both teams exchanged penalty goals to go in at half-time at two points apiece. Manly were the better of the two teams in the opening forty despite not posting points. Melbourne briefly took the lead in the second half before Matthew Wright chased through Daly Cherry-Evans kick for the opening try of the match. The game reared its ugly head in the fifty-second minute, resulting in the send off of Curtis Scott and sin-bin of Dylan Walker and Apisai Koroisau after an ugly melee. Melbourne continued to be their worse enemies as they turned over cheap possession. Close to the hour, Akuila Uate extended Manly’s lead to six as he crossed in the corner. Ten minutes later Tom Trbojevic appeared to put the game beyond doubt chasing through a kick in-goal to score next to the posts. On full-time Moses Suli scored out wide to leave Manly comprehensive twenty point victors.
MADNESS IN MELBOURNE
An incredible night with what could be the most memorable night in the National Rugby League for all the wrong reasons. Curtis Scott’s ‘king hit’ on Dylan Walker was the flash point in a game where both sides niggled throughout. Walker has a suspected fractured eye socket as a result. Scott becoming the first player to be dismissed since David Shillington’s head-butt on Aaron Woods in 2015. Not only will Scott be suspended, but has ended all hopes of being considered as a candidate for the Blues Origin side.
For some unclear reason, Dylan Walker received ten minutes however Apisai Koroisau’s involvement deserved a sit down. On top of that, Jake Trbojevic’s sin bin just before half-time for Manly’s poor discipline in general play, and Josh Addo-Carr’s late infringement following a Sea Eagles break, resulted in four sin bins and a second off.
Quite a wild night in Melbourne.
POLL: Was it the correct call to send off Curtis Scott?#NRLStormManly
— NothingButLeague (@NothingButRL) May 19, 2018
THE NINE MINUTE SIN BIN
Adding to the drama of the ugly incident that saw Scott sent off, was the extraordinary return of Manly’s two players from the sin bin. Fox Sports picked up during the game that Walker and Koroisau returned to the game approximately a minute and forty-one seconds short. The giveaway for viewers was Storm’s football manager Frank Ponissi blowing up on the sideline as the Sea Eagles players returned. An investigation will happen into the incident. Watch this space!
STORM MISS SMITH
Onto the game now, and Melbourne struggled without captain Cam Smith. They lacked composure and leadership, something that Kevin Walters should take note of with Billy Slater mentioned as a likely captain of Queensland’s Origin campaign. That now appears likely to go to Greg Inglis. Melbourne failed to complete many second half sets which is shown in their 61% overall completion rate. The pressure of defending on their line with twelve men showed as Manly had one of their finest nights in Melbourne.
Just like last week, Daly Cherry-Evans just nudged the Queensland selectors with an outstanding performance with an excellent kicking game that set up two of the four Manly tries all night. It might be just a dream for DCE to play in the series after the Gladstone incident and poor performances by the Sea Eagles over that period. With the axe likely to fall on Darius Boyd and Cameron Smith’s retirement, he could be a handy and experienced utility on the Maroons bench.
MELBOURNE STORM 4
Goals: Cameron Munster 2
Drop Goals: Nil
MANLY SEA EAGLES 24
Tries: Matthew Wright, Akuila Uate, Tom Trbojevic, Moses Suli
Goals: Trent Hodkinson 3, Daly Cherry-Evans
Drop Goals: Nil
Melbourne Storm: 1 Billy Slater (c), 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Christian Welch, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane. Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Joe Stimson, 20 Harry Grant
Manly Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Frank Winterstein, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Toafofoa Sipley
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