Andrew Pelechaty reviews the Brookvale Oval clash between Manly Warringah and the Wests Tigers …
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 36
Tries: Ben Trbojevic 2 (26, 60), Reuben Garrick (33), Christian Tuipulotu (39), Daly Cherry-Evans (46), Josh Aloiai (55), Reuben Garrick (74)
Goals: Reuben Garrick (40, 57, 61, 76)
Wests Tigers 22
Tries: Luke Garner (49), Tyrone Peachey (53), Oliver Gildart (69), Joe Ofahengaue (77)
Goals: Jackson Hastings (50, 54, 77)
MATCH REPORTEmbed from Getty Images
There was plenty of early attack from both sides on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Brookvale Oval. While night footy dominates for commercial reasons, there’s nothing better than a sunny afternoon with plenty of free-flowing footy. Over 17,000 fans at Brookie would agree.
Manly Warringah were almost first to score after 11 minutes when Turbo drifted across field and passed to Reuben Garrick, who dropped it.
There was another near-miss when Ben Trbojevic chased a Daly Cherry-Evans grubber, but it was too big. Unfortunately for Manly, they undid their hard work by knocking on at the scrum.
Wests were first to score after 25 minutes through Asu Kepaoa, but it was pulled back for an obstruction.
Manly punished the Tigers with Ben Trbojevic scoring his first NRL try: a fine moment with Ben playing with his brothers Tom and Jake.
The Tigers suffered a blow eight minutes before half-time when Stefano Utoikamanu was sin-binned. Manly quickly took advantage with Garrick scoring in the corner.
Manly got their third try right on half-time when Christian Tuipulotu scored in the right corner: like a lot of wingers, he topped off the try with an acrobatic Superman leap. Garrick converted his first try to give the Sea Eagles a 14-0 lead. It was the seventh straight game that Manly led the Tigers at half-time.
While the Tigers had plenty of effort in the first half, Manly dominated possession (58% and 22/26 sets) and broke Wests at the back end with two tries after Utoikamanu‘s sin binning.
HALF-TIME: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 14 Wests Tigers 0
While Wests avoided any more damage with 12 men, Manly soon increased their lead, DCE (in his 100th game at Brookvale) ran 65 metres to score after great lead up work from Tolutau Koula. While Garrick missed the conversion, Manly still had a comfortable 18-0 lead.
Luke Garner finally scored Wests’ first try, running 75 metres as the Tigers went down the right edge. Not even Turbo could stop him. Jackson Hastings’ conversion cut the margin to 18-6.
Tyrone Peachey looked to have scored for Wests two minutes later but knocked the ball on trying to ground it. Though the Tigers got the ball back after a Manly knock on in the lead up.
Peachey made up for it with an approved try, swooping on a Luke Brooks kick.
Manly stretched the lead back out to 30-12, with tries to former Tiger Josh Aloiai and a second try to Ben Trbojevic.
But the Tigers refused to give up, with Oliver Gildart cutting the margin to 30-16 with 11 minutes left, giving them a sniff.
Reuben Garrick finally put the game away (off a lovely Harbour Bridge pass from Kieran Foran) with six minutes left, pushing the margin to 36-16.
Joe Ofahengaue scored for the Tigers, but it was too late. Overall, there were 11 tries and 58 points in an entertaining afternoon of footy.
Manly improve to 5-4 and have a blockbuster “home” Magic Round clash against Brisbane at Lang Park next Friday night, while the Tigers have a big game against the high-flying Cowboys next Sunday night.
FULL-TIME: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles 36 Wests Tigers 22
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTSEmbed from Getty Images
3 pts – Tom Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), 2 pts – Ben Trbojevic (Sea Eagles), 1 pt – Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles)
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