Andrew Pelechaty reviews the final game of Round 20: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks vs Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Suncorp Stadium. Here’s how the game went.
Tries: William Kennedy (22, 69), Braydon Trindall (39, 71)
Goals: Braydon Trindall (24, 70, 72)
Sea Eagles 40
Tries: Jason Saab (13, 16), Morgan Harper (19), Tom Trbojevic (43, 47, 54), Reuben Garrick (58).
Goals: Reuben Garrick (14, 18, 45, 49, 55, 59).
Player of the Year Points
3 pts – Tom Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
2 pts – Reuben Garrick (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
1 pt – Jason Saab (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles)
There was plenty to play for in the final game of a dramatic Round 20 at Suncorp Stadium: Cronulla-Sutherland were fighting to stay in the eight, while Manly Warringah were looking to inch closer to the top four.
Manly-Warringah had the first attacking raid five minutes in, but Reuben Garrick was taken into touch while heading to the left corner.
They quickly rebounded when Jason Saab ran down a huge downtown kick, but the Sea Eagles couldn’t take advantage of it.
Manly put the Sharks under more pressure when a Josh Schuster chip kick forced a goal-line drop out. On the first few minutes alone, it looked like a long night for the Sharks.
Manly had another chance in the 13th minute when Saab athletically grounded a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber in the right corner. It was ruled a try on field, which the Bunker eventually confirmed. Garrick converted to give Manly a 6-0 lead.
Saab got his second try off a far simpler catch-and-pass through Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic. Garrick converted again for a 12-0 lead after 18 minutes.
Manly’s procession continued with Morgan Harper scoring off another Tommy Turbo assist, and Manly’s third try on the right side. Garrick missed the conversion as Manly led 16-0 at nearly a point-a-minute.
The Sharks finally got one back with Will Kennedy scoring. Braydon Trindall converted to cut Manly’s lead to 16-6.
Cronulla put some pressure on late in the half when Saab dropped a massive bomb, which Turbo cleaned up for a goal line drop out.
The Sharks capitalised when Trindall cleaned up his own kick to score after it came off the legs of Briton Nikora. Trindall missed the conversion for a halftime score of 16-10 after Manly looked like winning by 1,000 after the first 20 minutes.
HALF-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 10 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 16
Manly got the vital first try in the second half when Turbo charged over from close range. Garrick converted to give Manly a 22-10 lead after 45 minutes.
Turbo doubled up a few minutes later by bamboozling the Sharks’ defence to increase Manly’s lead to 28-10 after Garrick’s conversion. After a promising finish to the first half, the Sharks’ resolve was starting to wilt.
Turbo sealed his hat-trick after 11 minutes as Manly stretched their lead to 34-10. They may as well give him the Dally M now and save everyone some time, such is his role in Manly’s resurgence after losing four of their first five games without him.
Garrick got a try of his own as Manly kept the foot on the throat and then hit another booming sideline conversion as Manly reached 40.
The Sharks’ night got worse when Toby Rudolf was sin-binned, meaning the final 14 minutes could get ugly with just 12 men.
Saab should’ve have had a hat-trick, but dropped the footy; the Sharks took advantage of the reprieve when Kennedy scored his second try. While it seemed academic, the Sharks are locked in a top eight battle with the Gold Coast, Canberra, St George Illawarra, and Newcastle, so every point counts.
Trindall then scored his second try as the Sharks trimmed Manly’s lead to a much more respectable 18 points.
Taniela Paseka was then sin-binned for a trip, evening the numbers to 12-on-12 and continuing Manly’s scrappy finish to the game.
Now just two points outside the top four, Manly have an epic fortnight ahead against Melbourne and Parramatta, which could decide if they get the vital double chance.
FULL-TIME: Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 22 Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 40
to be advised
Match Review Committee
to be advised