Class always rises to the top and tonight the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles showed plenty.
In a dominant performance, the Sea Eagles crushed the Gold Coast Titans 38-6 to give inspirational captain Jamie Lyon a night to remember in his 200th game for his beloved Manly Warringah.
It was also a nice way for Kieran Foran to celebrate his 25th birthday.
The vital win moves the Sea Eagles ahead of the Titans on 16 points on points differential on the NRL ladder after 18 rounds and cause plenty of worries for opposition teams in the race to the finals.
The pre-game build up by the local media focused on Sea Eagles half-back Daly Cherry-Evans’ first game against the Titans following his decision to stick with his beloved Sea Eagles instead of joining the Gold Coast.
Cherry-Evans might have been ‘booed’ every time he touched the ball but there were also plenty of cheers as he set up the first try with a well-timed pass to send winger Tom Trbojevic over in the right corner for a 4-0 lead after 13 minutes.
Seven minutes later, the Sea Eagles were denied a try to winger Jorge Taufua for a forward pass from Feleti Mateo.
It was a hiccup as the powerful Taufua crashed over for the first of his two tries from a dummy half pass by full-back Brett Stewart. Lyon missed the sideline conversion for an 8-0 lead after 28 minutes.
Stewart got on the tryscoring list when he crashed over in the right corner to plant the ball down in a three man tackle. Lyon converted for a 14-0 lead.
Taufua nailed his second try a few minutes later when Foran put Stewart into a gap to send the winger over. Lyon converted for a 20-0 lead. The Sea Eagles walked off a standing ovation from their faithful supporters in the crowd of 9632 at half-time.
Lyon combined with Foran to lay on a try for the five-eighth to give the Sea Eagles a 24-0 lead. Lyon converted for a 26-0 scoreline after 47 minutes.
Prop Willie Mason scored his first try of the season when he just charged over from 10 metres out from a dummy half pass by Matt Ballin. Lyon converted for a 32-0 lead.
Winger Tom Trbojevic stretched the lead to 36-0 when he swooped up a loose ball from a Matai break. The video ref ruled the ball had been knocked out by David Mead. Lyon converted for a 38-0 lead.
Nathaniel Peteru scored a late consolation try but the night belonged to the Sea Eagles as they charged home for a 38-6 win.