Manly move closer to finals berth

Caption: The Sea Eagles march back to their own half after one of their many tries against Wentworthville at Brookvale Oval today. Photo: Emily Cousins.

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles moved another step closer to securing a NSW Cup finals position today with a 58-16 thumping of Wentworthville at Brookvale Oval.

The Sea Eagles remain in eighth position with one match remaining against Newcastle (6th) at Brookvale Oval next Saturday at 3pm.

Should Illawarra Cutters (ninth) lose to Canterbury (fifth) at Belmore Sports Ground tonight, the Sea Eagles will qualify for the finals.

On a beautiful afternoon at Brookvale Oval, the Sea Eagles were boosted by the return from knee injuries of NRL players Tom Symonds and Dunamis Lui. The side lost five-eighth Jack Littlejohn with a quad injury and he was replaced by Kurt Aldridge.

The Sea Eagles opened the scoring through a try to Symonds.  Aldridge converted for a 6-0 lead.

Wentworthville hit back soon after with a try to second-rower Cody Nelson. Half-back Beau Henry failed to convert to leave the visitors trailing 6-4.

Failure by the Sea Eagles to wrap up the man with the ball on the last tackle cost the home side dearly when, from the following set, Wentworthville gained the lead when second-rower Nick Kassis crashed over out near the posts. Henry converted for a 10-6 lead after 22 minutes.

Ten minutes later, Sea Eagles winger Delroy Berryman dived over in the right corner to level the scores. Aldridge converted to give Manly Warringah a 12-10 lead after 29 minutes.

The Sea Eagles stretched their lead to 16-10 when half-back Manaia Rudolph produced some fancy footwork to score next to the posts from 10 metres out. Aldridge converted the try for an 18-10 lead after 33 minutes.

Four minutes later, Berryman stepped and weaved his way over the tryline to grab his second for a 22-10 lead. Aldridge missed his first conversion attempt in the 38th minute.

The home side went further ahead when hooker Jayden Hodges scored next to the posts. Aldridge converted to give the Sea Eagles a 28-10 lead at half-time.

2nd Half

The Sea Eagles were left a man short for 10 minutes in the 52nd minute when forward Cheyse Blair was sin-binned. Wentworthville capitalised on the extra space with a try to Lionel O’Malley. Henry converted to leave the visitors trailing 28-16.

Symonds grabbed his second try when he broke the line and then stepped past a defender to score next to the posts. Aldridge converted for a 34-16 lead.

Full-back Dom Reardon got in on the action when he dived over behind the posts a few minutes later. Aldridge converted for a 40-16 lead.

The Sea Eagles then scored a fine try from the re-start when Symonds combined to send centre Brayden Wiliame on his way to the tryline. Aldridge converted for a 46-16 lead.

The home side reached 50 points when prop Sioisaia Vave scored. Aldridge converted for a 52-16 lead.

A nice offload by second-rower Dylan Kelly saw Williams sent down the sideline to find Hodges in support for his second try. Aldridge converted from the sideline for a 58-16 lead after 74 minutes.