NYC: Sea Eagles soar above Storm
The Sea Eagles spent most of last season chasing their tails as they claimed that unwanted wooden spoon for the second year running.
It was a season they’d much rather forget. The men in maroon and white won just six games and were never really in the hunt for a finals finish.
However, season 2014 looks bright already after the Sea Eagles claimed an impressive first round win over the Storm at Brookvale Oval.
Last year the Sea Eagles lacked depth and struggled to match it with the more experienced Holden Cup sides.
However, 2013 would prove vital in their impressive season opener on Saturday night.
Coach David Heath was able to keep the core of players from last year, meaning the Sea Eagles are up there as one of the most experienced sides in the competition.
And didn’t it show. The Sea Eagles began the match like a house on fire, scoring 28-unanswered points to all but seal victory before half time.
Halfback Zac Nicholls kick-started the Sea Eagles roll on, burrowing his way under some ordinary goal line defence.
His efforts were soon matched by teammate Michael Stigg, who snuck down the blind side to score in the corner.
It was the perfect start to a promising new season, and it only got better for the home side, as Jack Delaney pieced a whole in the opposition defence to increase his side’s lead to 16 points.
Gifted young fullback Tom Trbojevic produced a stunning solo effort as he pounced on a loose ball 20 metres out from his own line to run 80 metres and score under the sticks.
The Sea Eagles were simply irresistible, crossing the line with almost every possession inside the opposition 20 metre line.
The home side managed to cross once again before the Storm pegged one back on the stroke of half time.
With a 22-point half time advantage, the Sea Eagles were poised well, but a second half halt saw the home side concede three tries to have the lead cut back to eight.
The Storm were brewing, and just as they appeared to be coming home, Sea Eagles second-rower James Parker crashed over to give his side some much needed breathing space.
Parker scored with 18 minutes remaining, pushing his side’s lead beyond two converted tries.
The 14-point margin proved too difficult to cut back for the Storm as the Sea Eagles celebrated an important 34-20 round one victory.