Sea Eagles step towards top four with win over Tigers

John Coomer Roar Guru

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    Manly have come back from trailing 16-8 early in the second half to beat the Wests Tigers 28-16 at Lottoland. The win consolidates their top 4 spot.

    In front of a host of former Manly stars on their annual old boys’ day, the Sea Eagles scored two tries in the first 11 minutes to skip out to an 8-0 nil lead.

    The first was scored by backrower Shaun Lane in the 7th minute after he was put into a yawning gap by captain Daly Cherry-Evans and ran 20 metres to score untouched.

    Four minutes later, on the back of a DCE 40/20, fullback Tom Trbojevic threw a brilliant cut-out pass to put winger Matthew Wright over in the corner.

    It was a worrying start for the Tigers but they managed to steady the ship. In the 20th minute, fullback James Tedesco was denied a try by the bunker for a shepherd.

    But in the 24th minute, they got on the board through a soft try. Backrower Joel Edwards slipped out of a Frank Winterstein tackle close to the line and barged his way over.

    The Tigers took the lead for the first time in the 30th minute, when centre Esan Marsters scored after capitalising on Sea Eagles’ centre Brian Kelly fumbling a Luke Brooks grubber kick in the in-goal area.

    Five minutes in the second half, Tigers’ halfback Luke Brooks pounced on his own grubber kick to score under the posts, after the ball had deflected off both a Manly defender and the goalpost.

    It looked like the Tigers might be able to spring an upset, but the Sea Eagles responded with three unanswered tries.

    The first came in the 55th minute, after Manly got the benefit of a knock-on call against Brooks. It looked like the Tigers should have received a penalty instead for Brian Kelly knocking the ball out in a tackle. But Manly capitalised with Wright scoring his second try of the afternoon out wide from the next set of six.

    Four minutes later, fellow Manly winger Akuila Uate burst through the middle of the Tigers’ ruck, beating Matt McIlwrick, Aaron Woods and finally fullback James Tedesco to score under the posts. With ten minutes to go, Manly put the result beyond doubt after a good interchange of passes in the middle of the ruck ended with Tom Trbojevic putting his brother Jake over under the posts.

    The Tigers only had 15 fit players from late in the first half, with hooker Jacob Liddle being forced off with a shoulder injury early and backrower Joel Edwards failing his HIA assessment after coming off just before half-time.