Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles secured back-to-back victories in their comprehensive victory over the Canberra Raiders in Mudgee.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 25
Tries: Reuben Garrick (12), Morgan Harper (18), Haumole Olakau’atu (59), Tom Trbojevic (62)
Goals: Reuben Garrick 4 (14, 60, 64, 67)
1 Point Field Goal: Daly Cherry-Evans (76)
Canberra Raiders 6
Tries: Jack Wighton (25)
Goals: Brad Schneider (27)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
The National Rugby League returned to Mudgee in New South Wales Central West. In the corresponding fixture at the ground, Manly demolished the Gold Coast Titans to kick-start their season. Canberra was looking to continue momentum after their come from behind win last weekend at home.
The Raiders had the first opportunity to post points after Jack Wighton forced a goal line drop out, however, the Sea Eagles defence was able to snuff out any try scoring chance.
Manly were first to score in the 13th minute when Reuben Garrick crossed for his second try of the season after Tolutau Koula broke a tackle to find his winger on the outside as they shifted the ball from the right to left.
The Sea Eagles continued to pepper the Raiders right side defence with Koula and Tom Trbojevic causing all sorts of problems.
Manly went in for their second with Daly Cherry-Evans’ cross-field kick finding Jason Saab before Morgan Harper finished off the play.
Hudson Young was in trouble after his lifting tackle on Josh Aloiai saw him on report.
Canberra had another golden opportunity to get on the board after Wighton’s monster bomb was dropped at the back by Trbojevic. As a result, the Raiders five-eighth scored a solo try, breaking a tackle close to the line.
After Manly had dominated, the Raiders were four points in arrears going into the break.
The home side lost Dylan Walker around the half hour mark after succumbing to a left knee problem which was already heavily strapped.
HALF-TIME: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10 Canberra Raiders 6Embed from Getty Images
Manly went on the front foot early on with Cherry-Evans kicking a 20/40 kick mid-tackle count. However, they couldn’t convert as they were pinged a second time for obstruction.
It was a stalemate for the first twenty minutes of the second half with both sides guilty of scrappy football at different stages, with the Raiders completing at 44%.
The Sea Eagles extended their lead on the hour with Cherry-Evans’ kick grounded by Haumole Olakau’atu. Garrick’s conversion saw Manly lead 16-6.
Cherry-Evans’ superb afternoon with the boot continued as he nailed a 40/20, completing a rare 40/20 and 20/40 game double. As a result, Tom Trbojevic scored his second try for the season as the score blew out to 22-6 with sixteen to go.
The wheels continued to fall off the Raiders as they kicked out on the full after a line dropout. Garrick converted from in front with thirteen minutes remaining.
Cherry-Evans added a field goal with four minutes left on the clock as Manly completed their victory 25-6.
Corey Harawira-Naera was placed on report for a crusher tackle on Olakau’atu late in the game.
It was Manly’s second win of the season and while they’ll be happy with their attack, they still have room for improvement to get back to their 2021 form.
For the Raiders, the score line flattered them. Aside from a bit of Wighton magic just before the break, they never looked in control of the game and at times their handling was poor. There’s a lot for Ricky Stuart to ponder ahead of their clash with Melbourne next Saturday afternoon in Wagga.
FULL-TIME: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 25 Canberra Raiders 6
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles), 2 pts – Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), 1 pt – Josh Aloiai (Sea Eagles)
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