Thunderbolts strike down Sea Eagles
The young Sea Eagles flew in to Melbourne having stuttered in their last two matches after their superb start to the season.
The typically Melbourne weather favoured the aptly named Thunderbolts, with both sides having to deal with greasy conditions from the outset and ultimately proving too difficult for the men from the Northern Beaches who went down 18-12.
Penalties in the early stages for both sides dominated proceedings before a try to Storm winger Tony Tumusa after about 10 minutes. It was a clever late switch that fooled the Manly defence, with the conversion successful – 6-0 to the Storm.
The Sea Eagles got their first points of the afternoon when Mitch Britton crossed after a run of penalties and strong carry from fullback Price. Price’s late offload found Britton, who forced his way over from only a few metres out.
Pratt’s conversion was waived away and Knight failed to capitalize, when he coughed it up off the kick off putting the pressure back on the away side. The side held on through some desperate scrambling, but was undone when they finally broke through with a set play from a scrum on halfway. Halfback Turpin put fullback Nicoll-Klokstad through the gap and watched him race away to score in the corner. Conversion missed 10-4.
After Tomusa almost scored a spectacular effort for his second only to cough it up over the line, which the Sea Eagles pounced on. Lucas Price was the beneficiary of some strong forward runs, crossing out wide to reduce the deficit to two points at the break.
The rain came in hard in the second period and as it did, the quality of the match deteriorated. Multiple coach-killing errors and silly penalties blighted the remainder of the game, with a breakaway try to Tony Tomusa, his second of the day, all but sealing the victory for the Thunderbolts.
Manly attempted a late charge, by crossing out wide but it was all too much for the Eaglets who have now lost two of their last three, after winning the first five straight in 2015.
Another blow for the Sea Eagles was an injury to fullback Lucas Price who was carried from the field with a suspected knee injury.