NRL Match report | Manly 35 Cronulla 18

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles moved into the top four of the Telstra Premiership in beating premiers Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 35-18 at Southern Cross Group Stadium today.

The Sea Eagles went into the game with an imposing record over the Sharks, having won 13 of the last 15 matches between the two clubs.  Cronulla had five players backing up and

Manly one in NSW forward Jake Trbojevic from last Wednesday night’s second Origin match.

The win moves Manly to fourth spot on 22 competition points, equal with Cronulla with 10 rounds remaining.

Manly opened the scoring in the second minute when second-rower Curtis Sironen took a hard, flat short pass from half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans to score next to the posts.

Winger Matthew Wright converted for a 6-0 lead after three minutes.

With Manly muscling up in defence early and forcing mistakes from the Sharks, the Sea Eagles capitalised when Cherry-Evans and full-back Tom Trbojevic combined to send winger Matthew Wright over in the left corner. Wright converted his own try for a 12-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Three minutes later, Cherry-Evans turned an inside pass for Sironen to use his sheer strength to push off two defenders to score next to the posts. Wright converted the try to give Manly an 18-0 lead after 24 minutes.

The Sharks opened their account when second-rower Luke Lewis took an intercept pass from Cherry-Evans to five-eighth Blake Green to race 80 metres to score. James Maloney converted the try to leave Cronulla trailing 18-6 after 31 minutes.

Cronulla then scored a try down the blindside off a penalty tap when winger Sosaia Feki scored out wide. Maloney converted to reduce Manly’s lead to 18-12 after 35 minutes.

Cherry-Evans kicked a field goal on the last tackle just before the siren to give the Sea Eagles a 19-12 lead at half-time.

Second Half

A terrific cut out pass by Cherry-Evans saw Wright cross for his second try. Wright converted his own try to give Manly a 25-12 lead after 55 minutes.

The Sea Eagles went to a 29-12 lead when Green took on the line to beat three defenders to score. Wright converted the try from next to the posts for a 31-12 lead after 64 minutes.

A Maloney pass to second-rower Wade Graham saw the Sharks reduce the margin to 31-16. Maloney converted the try for a 31-18 scoreline after 73 minutes.

Manly centre Dylan Walker scooped up a spilt bomb to beat four defenders to score in the 76th minute. Wright failed to convert the try for a 35-18 lead.

The Sea Eagles now play the Warriors at nib Stadium in Perth in a home game on Saturday, July 1.