A superb first half by the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles saw them record a 32-16 victory over the Canberra Raiders at Lottoland tonight in round four of the Telstra Premiership.
Following a week of heavy scrutiny from the NRL Salary Cap determination and on the back of a disappointing loss to South Sydney last Saturday night, the Sea Eagles thrived off the adversity to produce a stellar opening half to lead by 20 points at the break in front of a crowd of 9,392.
The Raiders opened the scoring in the fifth minute when prop Sia Soliola scored under the post from a 15 metre run. Centre and captain Jarrod Croker converted for a 6-0 lead.
Manly hit back almost immediately when full-back Tom Trbojevic backed up a break to send brother Jake Trbojevic over next to the posts. Half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans converted to make it 6-all.
Tom Trbojevic then finished off some nice play inside by Curtis Sironen and Api Koroisau to force his way over under the posts. Cherry-Evans converted for a 12-6 lead.
Cherry-Evans crossed for Manly’s third try in five minutes when he backed up Tom Trbojevic to score. He converted his own try for an 18-6 lead.
The half-back then converted a penalty goal for a 20-6 before winger Matthew Wright dived over in the left corner for a 24-6 lead.
Cherry-Evans finished off the first half scoring with another penalty to give Manly a 26-6 lead at half-time.
Unfortunately for the Sea Eagles, forward Kelepi Tanginoa suffered a knee injury in the first half and didn’t return.
Cherry-Evans extended the lead to 28-6 through a penalty goal in the 51st minute.
The Raiders then put on two tries in as many minutes through Croker and full-back Jack Wighton to trail 28-16 after 58 minutes.
Wright gave the Sea Eagles some more breathing space when he crossed for his second try after some nice work by Tom Trbojevic for a 32-16 scoreline after 64 minutes.
Manly second-rower Curtis Sironen (knee) and Tom Trbojevic (ankle) both left the field with injuries in the second half.
Manly has now won 18 of 28 matches against Canberra at home.
The win marked the 900th victory for Manly Sea Eagles in the Club’s proud history since entering the first grade premiership in 1947.
Manly play Gold Coast Titans in an away game at Gladstone next Sunday, April 8, at 2pm at Marley Brown Oval.