Manly Sea Eagles claim their first win of the season against the New Zealand Warriors with a 46-12 thrashing in Christchurch.
A huge match in the context of the Manly sides early-season fortunes, they had signs early that they had come to play expansive footy against a Warriors outfit looking to bounce back. Lack of urgency by the Warriors had them concede three tries in the space of 7 minutes after getting a converted try themselves prior, with the score 18-6. Captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the New Zealanders was the shining light breaking tackles and producing line breaks for most of the first half but the other playmakers of his side were unable to capitalise on possession in good territory. A break from Sheck allowed a close of the line four-pointer to Isaac Luke in the 26th minute but this was followed up by lousy end of set completions.
A half time score of 24-12 showed how each side was willing to allow attacking football either end but with a lack of defence being showed by each side, this was tightened up after the break with the Sea Eagles defending their line for three forced dropouts early in the piece. The attention to their defence Manly was able to charge off the back of that frustration that built for the Warriors with Tom Trbojevic injecting himself to cut through and link with Daly Cherry-Evans for a well-constructed try to lead 28-12. Penalties and discipline continued for the New Zealand outfit in Christchurch allowing three more tries to an electric Sea Eagles team hungry for the win with the contest finishing 46-12.
Manly Thump Warriors
The Northern beaches side took their round 3 match over to Christchurch with an emotional affair early on with the tragedy that occurred weeks earlier in the city. It was a back and forth affair with no side really willing to dig deep and hold their line in defence with six tries in the first half. An emphasis to bring their efforts in defence up, the Sea Eagles were tested early by the Warriors in the second half but held off the barrage to then prosper in attack with playmakers Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic having the most impact. Beating New Zealand on home soil was Des Hasler’s first win back at the helm at Manly which will give him plenty of positives to take out of the match.
Turbo Tom Magic
A hamstring sidelining Trbojevic for the first two rounds of this season, he was undoubtedly a key figure that was sorely missed for the Sea Eagles. The Manly fullback carried his weight as a playmaker in the side cutting and weaving through the Warriors all day with a mammoth effort of two tries and try assists, 3 linebreaks while running 175 metres in what was a man of the match performance that lifted his side. Fans of the maroon and white will be happy to see Tom back playing and not hindered by his injury from the pre-season trial.
Confusing Referee Call
A very suspect and confusing period these few rounds have been surrounding the shot clock with scrums. The games that have been played so far in the competition have had clocks expire when the team with possession has waited for defending sides to be ready. Confusion in this fixture occurred when the scrum clock expired with a Warriors interchange player was meant to be off the field but had slowed the scrum, Manly players and one referee called it as a penalty but then ultimately got overturned by the head referee. A review of this decision by Graham Annesley in his briefing of round 3 will need to be had.
Sea Eagles Second Half
An even contest by both sides was had for the majority of the match with the Sea Eagles after the half time break having only 20% of the ball for the 15 minutes. A gutsy effort in defence holding off a large Warriors pack for 3-4 sets on their line allowed the second half of the home side to dominate with their forwards going to another level and the backline players feeding of that for four tries. The Sea Eagles attack looked slick with the conditions being ideal for the first time in their two previous matches which allowed the playmakers of Kane Elgey, Trbojevic, Manase Fainu and Cherry-Evans to work the edges of the New Zealanders while pile on the points.
Tries: T.Trbojevic (2), Cherry-Evans (2), Thompson, Fainu, Taufua, Garrick
Goals: Cherry-Evans 7/9
Tries: Papali’i, Luke
Goals: Keighran 2/2
Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic 2 Jorge Taufua 3 Moses Suli 4 Brad Parker 5 Reuben Garrick 6 Kane Elgey 7 Daly Cherry-Evans 8 Addin Fonua-Blake 9 Apisai Koroisau 10 Martin Taupau 11 Joel Thompson 12 Curtis Sironen 13 Jake Trbojevic Interchange: 14 Manase Fainu 15 Jack Gosiewski 16 Corey Waddell 17 Toafofoa Sipley
Warriors: 1 Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (c) 2 David Fusitu’a 3 Peta Hiku 4 Solomone Kata 5 Ken Maumalo 6 Adam Keighran 7 Blake Green 8 Agnatius Paasi 9 Issac Luke 10 Bunty Afoa 17 Isaiah Papali’i 12 Tohu Harris 11 Adam Blair. Interchange: 13 Lachlan Burr 14 Jazz Tevaga 16 Leeson Ah Mau 18 Gerard Beale.