Cronulla Sharks 0
Manly Sea Eagles 26 (T Symonds 2, J Horo, S Matai, J Lyon tries; J Lyon 3 conversions)
The Cronulla Sharks have an unwanted piece of history after becoming the first NRL club to be kept to nil three games in a row, going down to the Manly Sea Eagles 26-nil at Remondis Stadium.
The match was meant to be a recovery of sorts for Cronulla, with a number of their injured brigade returning to the fold, including captain Paul Gallen and dynamic five eight Todd Carney.
However it turned out to be an extension of the misery for the Shire side, Manly romping home to put themselves at the top of the NRL ladder after 15 rounds.
The night started well for Manly, with reports Daly Cherry-Evans wouldn’t play proving false, the Sea Eagles’ halfback taking his place in the run on side.
And the Saturday evening just kept improving the visitors who crossed for their first try inside three and a half minutes of the game. A back pedalling Sharks’ line was broken by Kieran Foran and Brett Stewart, the latter throwing the final pass to put Justin Horo over.
The Manly side continued to pressure the Sharks’ defences, and crossed again in the 19th minute of the game when the Sharks were caught short on their right side, a simple pass putting Matai in space after Blake Ayshford tried to shut down the play unsuccessfully.
Ten minutes later, they extended their lead further, when Cherry-Evans brushed past Fa’Amanu Brown’s tackle attempt before passing to Jamie Lyon who scored out wide. Lyon missed the conversion to have the Sea Eagles up 16-0.
Cronulla thought they were on the board through Sosaia Feki just before the break, however the video referee ruled the Shark’s winger had failed to control the ball before grounding.
It was much of the same story in the second half when Shark’s young gun Tinarau Arona appeared to have burrowed his way over from dummy half, however the on field referee said no try, and the video referee upheld the decision.
From there, Cronulla again looked a broken side and Manly heaped more misery on them in the 54th minute of the game, Cherry-Evans again providing the assist by putting Tom Symonds over past a thinning left hand defence.
The demolition job was completed three minutes later when Lyon chipped over the top for Stewart, the Manly fullback drawing his opposite number before passing to Symonds to collect a double.
The Sharks broke the drought in the 61st minute of the game when Feki was on the end of a flat Carney pass, however the officials cruelly ruled the ball travelled forward leaving the Cronulla side scoreless again in the 26-nil defeat.