A hat-trick of tries to exciting young full-back Luke Tucker was the highlight in Manly’s 34-12 victory over St George Dragons in the Harold Matthews Cup at Lottoland on Saturday.
The round four match was the first home game of the season for Manly in the U16s competition following tough road trips to Canberra and Newcastle for the young Sea Eagles.
The Sea Eagles led 10-6 at half-time with Tucker (pictured) scoring both of Manly’s tries in the first 30 minutes.
Centre Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio, Tucker, prop Dion Yazdani and winger Oliver Cummins crossed for second-half tries to secure the two competition points.
Manly was dealt a blow early in the game when five-eighth and captain Daniel O’Donnell left the field with concussion.
However, the game belonged to Tucker, a full-back with plenty of natural pace and skills who caused the Dragons nightmares with his elusive runs.
Manly Coach John Michael said Tucker displays a great attitude for a young player.
“He is a great kid. He listens to everything you say and he is just a real talent who is only going to get better as he progresses,’’ Michael said.
“It was good to get the win but the most pleasing part was our defence. We had a big focus on working hard for each other in defence and they implemented it very well.
“We did drop off a little late in the game and if we are going to match it with the big teams when it counts later on, we need to focus fully on those one percenters.”
Half-back Teddy Wilson (below) kicked five goals from six attempts for Manly and led the team around the field well in the absence of O’Donnell.
Manly sit in fourth position with two wins from three matches and now play North Sydney Bears at Mascot Oval on Saturday, March 9, at 10am.