Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a 36-6 victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs in round 24 of the Holden Cup tonight.
In a match played in strong winds and chilly conditions at Belmore Sports Ground, the victory moved the Sea Eagles to 28 points and into sixth position, subject to weekend results, with two rounds remaining.
The Bulldogs dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes but some great defence by the Sea Eagles kept the home side out.
The scores remained 0-0 until a mistake by the Bulldogs inside their own quarter saw the Sea Eagles go on the attack from a scrum win.
Hooker Manase Fainu showed his strength to carry three defenders over the line to score next to the posts. Centre Tevita Funa converted for a 6-0 lead after 31 minutes.
Six minutes later, some individual brilliance from half-back Kurtis Preece saw him score. Funa converted for a 12-0 lead at half-time.
The Bulldogs opened proceedings in the second half when half-back Michael Doolan split the defence to score. Five-eighth Adam Keighran converted for a 12-6 scoreline after 51 minutes.
Manly extended their lead to 18-6 four minutes later when Funa converted his own try after crashing over out wide.
Some nice quick hands out to the left saw winger Luke Polselli score for Manly for a 22-6 lead. Funa converted for a 24-6 lead with 16 minutes remaining.
The Sea Eagles went further ahead when five-eighth Tom Wright scored next to the posts. Funa converted for a 30-6 lead after 68 minutes.
Funa grabbed his second try when he dived on a spilt ball from a Preece grubber kick. Funa converted for a 36-6 lead after 77 minutes.
Manly play the bottom placed Warriors in Auckland next weekend.
Sea Eagles Holden Cup team
5 Jade Anderson, 1 Luke Polselli, 3 Tevita Funa, 19 Semisi Kioa, 20 Bilal Maarbani, 6 Tom Wright, 7 Kurtis Preece, 15 Elia Faatui, 9 Manase Fainu, 10 Taniela Paseka, 4 Blake Andrews, 12 Josh Martin, 13 Jesse Martin (C); Interchange: 14 Haumole Olakauátu, 21 Joseph Ma’u, 22 Kaine McQuiggin,23 Michael Fenn.