Mitch Dransfield reports on the last match of round three with the Sea Eagles taking on the Bulldogs.
It was a Sunday night game on the Central Coast, with both sides in the first half working through their sets with no risk involved. Errors continued to plague the Bulldogs early with a cut out pass from Jack Cogger going out. A Curtis Sironen offload off a shift saw the ball kept alive for Suli to break and link with Tom Trbojevic to score in the fifth minute. After frustration from not getting ruck calls, Manly had a silky set play with Jake Trbojevic linking with his brother to score his second in the 26th minute: the Sea Eagles leading 8-0. Lost possession had Canterbury seething close to Manly’s line after a successful Captain’s Challenge. The Sea Eagles had speed around the ruck to march down to the Dogs‘ try line, with Tom Trbojevic drawing defenders to put Brad Parker to slip through for a four-pointer and go into half time 14-0 up.
The Sea Eagles opened up the second half with a bang, with Daly Cherry-Evans forcing dropouts and Tom Trbojevic firing down a left side cut out to Jorge Taufua to score for an 18-0 lead. A dominant period by the Sea Eagles had them frustrated, as they were unable to crack a desperate Bulldogs defence; the half possession by the last quarter of the match was 75% in favour of Manly. Eventually, Danny Levi – out of marker on the opposition line – found Curtis Sironen to crash over to go up 22-0. Two more tries down the left and right edge of the Canterbury side had the Sea Eagles’ lead go to 32 points. A debut try to Jake Averillo gave his fans some relief with a slicing individual effort, ending the game at 32-6.
Tommy ‘Turbo’ Trbojevic was the star of this match as many expected against a lacklustre Bulldogs team. The star fullback scored two strong tries with a supporting effort and a slick set play off his brother Jake. Tom also had his hand in three try assists, capping off a phenomenal return to the NRL. The highlight of the match was the set play for his second try, which was a pivoting role by Jake to the edge and Tom cutting outside him with two decoy runners freeing up the fullback to dive over. Hopefully we will see more clinical plays like that from the Sea Eagles, as it had the defence bamboozled working off their line.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 32
Tries: T. Trbojevic (2), Parker (2), Taufua, Sironen, Garrick
Goals: Garrick 2/7
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 6
Goals: Meaney 1/1
Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Brad Parker 4. Moses Suli 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Dylan Walker 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Danny Levi 10. Martin Taupau 11. Joel Thompson 12. Curtis Sironen 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Lachlan Croker 15. Corey Waddell 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka.
Bulldogs: 1. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 2. Nick Meaney 3. Reimis Smith 4. Will Hopoate 5. Christian Crichton 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Jack Cogger 20. Aiden Tolman 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 10. Dylan Napa 11. Josh Jackson 12. Dean Britt 13. Adam Elliott. Interchange: 8. Sauaso Sue 14. Jake Averillo 15. Renouf To’omaga 16. Raymond Faitala-Mariner.