NSW CUP: Mounties smash Sea Eagles in first hit out
It was a tough first hit out for the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles NSW Cup side, who were punished at home in their first hot out of season 2014.
Expectations were high leading in to the match with an off season recruitment drive in key positions seeing a number players head to the Peninsula to prove their worth.
However, those expectations were dashed after less than two minutes old as Mounties got on the scoreboard.
The first of many penalties against the Sea Eagles helped piggyback the men in yellow down the ground, before some sloppy try line defence allowed Mounties to go over for their first points of the afternoon on Manly’s right edge.
It took another try to from mountain men, before the Sea Eagles decided to switch in to gear. A fast thinking Clinton Gutherson utilized the new quick tap restart rules to gain some early metres and carried his side down the ground.
It culminated in a fleet-footed Ligi Sao stepping, fending and driving his way over to the right of the posts 10 minutes in. Sea Eagles Captain Jack Littlejohn stepped up to slot home the conversion.
Minutes later Jayden Hodges forced a turnover and penalty to help the side down in to opposition territory. A nice set move from the halves set up Dominic Reardon to cross out wide.
And that was almost the last taste of success for the side, as silly penalties and errors were continually punished Mounties.
A disagreement between former amateur boxing champion Tyson Andrews and his opposing front rower saw them both spend majority of the final minutes of the match in the bin, while Ligi Sao went on report for joining in the melee.
Mounties rounded of their dominant display with a try on the final siren in what was an unforgettable afternoon for the Sea Eagles.
Manly Warrigah Sea Eagles 10
(TRIES: Sao, Reardon; Con: Littlejohn x 1)