Manly’s Curtis Sironen has marked his 100th NRL appearance with a double as the Sea Eagles romped to 30-12 victory over the Gold Coast.
Sironen scored two close-range tries in the first half as Manly demolished the Titans in the first half at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday to claim back-to-back road victories for the first time in 2019.
Jorge Taufua, Reuben Garrick, Moses Suli also scored for the Sea Eagles, who donned black armbands in honour of the three children who died in a house fire in Singleton earlier this week.
Philip Sami, a late inclusion after Dale Copley (calf) was ruled out pre-match, scored a consolation double for the Titans to add some gloss to the scoreline.
NSW stars Jake and Tom Trbojevic both played key roles in the win while Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans was an influential figure throughout.
Tom Trbojevic picked up 183 running metres and set up Garrick’s try with a delicious cut-out pass.
His brother made 31 tackles and was a constant presence in Manly’s attacking moves, offering an additional playmaking option for Des Hasler’s men.
Cherry-Evans set up two of the Sea Eagles’ tries and ran the game from halfback in the first 40 minutes.
The Titans, in captain Tyrone Roberts 150th match, were dreadful for most of the afternoon.
After opening the scoring through a Roberts’ penalty the home team barely fired a shot in the first half as the Sea Eagles ran riot.
Sironen crossed in the eighth minute but his second four-pointer in the 27th opened the floodgates, with Garrick and Taufua adding two more tries before the break as Manly opened up a 20-2 halftime lead.
The Titans’ woes were encapsulated in the 38th minute when Brian Kelly broke clear and fed AJ Brimson, who seemed destined for the tryline before stumbling and losing the ball.
Sironen was sin-binned for tackling Kelly without the ball in the aftermath but his absence had no impact, with the Sea Eagles extending their lead after halftime with a Garrick penalty conversion.
When Suli went over untouched after Kelly jammed out of defence to close down Tom Trbojevic in the 52nd minute, Gold Coast were being flattened.
Sami’s double gave something for the home fans to cheer late on, but the Titans’ 11th loss of the season will be a bitter pill for coach Garth Brennan to swallow.
Two weeks ago, the director of sport at the Nine Network, Tom Malone, said that while the NRL competition currently has the perfect number of teams, he believes a second Brisbane team is vitally important, indicating that a Sydney team should be sacrificed to make this happen.
With two more rounds of footy left to play out, the Gold Coast Titans have decided to have awards night early, officially claiming the 2019 wooden spoon after a 24-8 loss from minor premiers Melbourne Storm.