What a Record
For those at Lottoland on Sunday, you will never forget the day you witnessed the biggest ever win over our fiercest rivals in the Parramatta Eels. The 54-0 drubbing, flogging, murder (whatever you want to call it) eclipsed the previous biggest win of 64-12 set in 1988. It also ended a six game losing streak to the Eels and saw the Sea Eagles move to sixth on the ladder. With the game well and truly over at 30-0 at half-time, the Manly boys could have switched off in that near 40 degree heat, but they refused too. And didn’t the Manly faithful love it! Every mistake by the Eels was greeted with loud cheers as the clock counted down. Well done to Coach Trent Barrett and the boys on creating history! That's one record worth keeping.
The ‘Fortress’ is back! The victory over the Eels made it six consecutive wins at Lottoland on the back of the five last home game wins last year. And a huge thank you to the 10,000 fans who turned up to create a great atmosphere at our spiritual home. There were Manly fans who travelled from as far as New Jersey (USA), Perth, Emerald in Qld, Mudgee, Tamworth, Erskine Park (out Panthers way) and even Dee Why (yes, it is a big ask!) to cheer on their beloved team at the first home game of the season. The boys are back at the ‘Fortress’ on Easter Saturday (March 31) against the Canberra Raiders. And won’t that be a beauty after our two golden point wins last year. A mouth watering contest awaits...and a few chocolate eggs, too.
How could people even question Lachlan Croker after his solid club debut in round one? He is a genuine five-eighth and as he showed in the win over the Eels, he CAN PLAY. So, to his critics, put the knives away and just enjoy our new number six! He is here to stay.
Hastings a fine utility
Speaking of talent, Jackson Hastings, take a bow. Your form in the final trial and in round one for Blacktown Workers had ‘pick me’ written all over it, so Coach Trent Barrett did just that. And although ‘Jacko’ is a natural in the halves, he provides so much utility value to the team. Plus he can kick goals if needed. He injected himself into the game against the Eels beautifully when replacing hooker Api Koroisau. As for his deft little grubber from dummy half for second-rower Curtis Sironen to score, it was just class.
Better than any opera
There were more standing ovations at Lottoland yesterday than at a night at the opera! At half-time with a commanding 30-0 lead behind them, even arthritis wouldn’t have stopped the most loyal Sea Eagle fan standing up to applaud. An hour later, and with another 24 unanswered points added, the Manly fans were delirious after a fantastic team effort in which every player excelled in a superb team performance. As for Eels fans, they were seen climbing over each to get on to the nearby B1 Buses well before half-time!
A game to remember
If they ever re-create the famous Tooheys commercial from the late 80s, just show Sunday’s match. The Manly forwards were outstanding and certainly ‘thumped ‘em, picked ‘em up, and dumped ‘em’. It just goes to show what ‘an Eagle can do to an Eel’. That song will take some time to get out of your head again now, won’t it. How do you feel?
Depth a standout
One factor that should not be overlooked from the weekend was the tremendous depth the Sea Eagles now have across the NRL and Intrust teams. On Saturday, Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles whacked Parramatta’s feeder club, Wenty Magpies, 46-0, in the Intrust Super Premiership. Twenty four hours later, Manly win 54-0. Competition for spots is fierce and that’s what you want from your two senior teams. Well done to Blacktown Coach Stephen Hales and his team on their great win that saw second-rower Jack Gosiewski score four tries!
Daly delivers (again)
A sheer masterclass from our great captain in Daly Cherry-Evans. ‘Chez’ scored the opening try, produced a great 40/20 kick that led to the second try, terrorised the Eels with his running and slick passing, and kicked 9 goals from 10 attempts. Thank goodness he is a ‘Sea Eagle for Life’.
Perrett puts on a props display
How good was prop Lloyd Perrett off the interchange bench? His first two runs produced two fine offloads and the Eels couldn’t contain his sheer strength. His offload in a three-man tackle for Jake Trbojevic to score was just fantastic. Lloyd is still developing his game and offers plenty to this very good Manly pack!
Load up the car
Manly fans, it’s time to travel again. You did it for the trial in Gosford and then round one in Newcastle, so for those fans in Sydney, get out to Homebush this Saturday for our clash with Souths as part of the NRL Double Header at ANZ Stadium. The Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs do battle at 5.30pm followed by Parramatta and Cronulla. And besides Manly fans, wouldn’t you just want to walk past an Eels fan with your Sea Eagles gear on one more time and whisper '54-0’. You know you want to. See you there!