Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded their first win of the season with a dominant 46-12 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Christchurch Stadium today.
Half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans and full-back Tom Trbojevic grabbed two tries each after Manly led 24-12 at half-time. It was Trbojevic's first premiership match of the season and the international again showed why he is so valuable to the team with a stunning return in the eight tries to two win.
The round three match was the second consecutive year the Sea Eagles have played a home match against the Warriors in Christchurch.
In a great show of strength and solidarity, the hashtag #TheyAreUs appeared on the playing jerseys of both teams as a mark of respect to those lives lost in the recent tragedy in Christchurch. The two teams and match officials came together before the game to observe a minute’s silence.
Manly welcomed back exciting full-back Tom Trbojevic for his first premiership game of the season from a hamstring injury.
The Sea Eagles got off to a horror start when Isaiah Papali’I scored in the second minute from his own short grubber kick which deflected off full-back Tom Trbojevic. Five-eighth Adam Keighran converted for a 6-0 lead after three minutes.
A brilliant catch from winger Jorge Taufua saw him defuse a crossfield kick on his line on the last tackle in the seventh minute. From that set, Tom Trbojevic scored when he stayed low to barge over next to the posts. Half-back Daly Cherry-Evans converted for a 6-all scoreline after 11 minutes.
Two minutes later, a beautiful offload by prop Addin Fonua-Blake to Tom Trbojevic saw Cherry-Evans score under the posts. He converted his own try to give the Sea Eagles a 12-6 lead after 14 minutes.
Some great anticipation by second-rower Joel Thompson saw him swoop on a Cherry-Evans grubber kick to get the ball down an inch from dead ball line to score. Cherry-Evans converted for an 18-6 lead after 19 minutes.
Manly centre Brad Parker was headed for the tryline in the 22nd minute after taking an intercept pass only to be run down by opposite centre Solomone Kata.
The Warriors hit back two minutes later when hooker Isaac Luke dived over off a pass from second-rower Adam Blair. Keighran converted for an 18-12 scoreline after 25 minutes.
Manly winger Reuben Garrick was denied a try when the referee called a forward pass from centre Moses Suli after good work by Cherry-Evans in the 34th minute.
A great offload in a three-man tackle by prop Toff Sipley saw hooker Manase Fainu step and barge his way over to score next to the posts.
Cherry-Evans converted for a 24-12 lead after 37 minutes and the scored stayed that way to half-time.
Manly soaked up plenty of defence in the first 18 minutes of the second half as the Warriors threw plenty at them. However, the effort paid off when Cherry-Evans finished off a break by Trbojevic to score his second. He converted his own try for a 30-12 lead after 60 minutes.
Cherry-Evans converted a penalty goal from in front in the 63rd minute for a 32-12 lead.
Trbojevic then grabbed his second try when he just shimmied his way over next to the posts. Cherry-Evans converted for a 38-12 lead.
A break by Parker then saw winger Jorge Taufua cross for a try out wide for a 42-12 lead after 70 minutes.
Winger Reuben Garrick then scored his first NRL try for the 46-12 scoreline.
The Sea Eagles now play South Sydney Rabbitohs at Lottoland on Saturday, April 6, at 3pm.