Geoff Toovey stood in the tunnel of Mt Smart Stadium and quietly reflected on a rare achievement.
“To win all three grades at the same ground on the one day is extremely satisfying. You hardly ever get your three grades at the one venue,” Toovey said.
“It is very rare these days. Travelling all the way to New Zealand and winning three grades against quality sides was a fantastic effort and the players across our grades can be very proud.”
Toovey was reflecting on one of the Sea Eagles’ most successful road trips after Manly Warringah had recorded strong victories over the Warriors on Saturday.
The day started off well with the Sea Eagles recording a 36-16 victory over the Warriors in the Holden Cup with full-back Tom Trbojevic in scintillating form with four tries. The win saw the Sea Eagles join the Warriors on 23 competition points.
“Tom has taken a lot of confidence out of playing first grade. He took the bull by the horns and could have quite easily gone back to the 20s and be complacent, but he really put himself into the game,’’ Toovey said.
“He definitely gave the players around him confidence. Addison Demetriou was superb in the centres as were their halves. Front-rower Liam Knight has been playing 80 minutes and has been a great stalwart in their side over the past month.”
The Sea Eagles caused a big upset in the NSW Cup with an 18-16 victory over the then second-placed Warriors. The win sees Manly Warringah in 11th place and on 18 points, one win outside the top eight.
“We had a fairly stiff penalty count against them early on but they hung in there and turned in a great performance,’’ Toovey said.
“Justin Horo, who missed out on first grade selection, was fantastic for them. The captain, Siosaia Vave, really led from the front and Michael Chee Kham has been great over the last couple of months as well.”
Of his NRL side’s 32-12 win over the then seventh-placed Warriors, Toovey praised the defence. The win saw the Sea Eagles move to within four points of the top eight.
“You win those games defensively. They are a pretty physical side and that showed, with the amount of injuries we had,’’ he said.
“It was pleasing to see us grit it out and for the boys to tackle their hearts out till they had nothing left. We shut down there a bit at the end because we had no one available. I thought we played some pretty good football for 50 minutes until we lost our reserves through injury.”