Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a comprehensive 36-6 victory over Parramatta Eels at Lottoland today in week one of the NSWRL SG Ball Cup finals.
The Sea Eagles finished the regular season as minor premiers with Parramatta in fourth place. The two teams played out a 20-all draw in round three.
Parramatta opened the scoring when lock Jontay-Junior Betham-Misa scored off a grubber kick next to the posts in the 14th minute. Winger Samuel Loizou converted for a 6-0 lead.
Manly made the most of their first scoring opportunity when winger Simon Tito crossed out wide off a nice pass from centre Ben Trbojevic (pictured below). Winger Daniel Ala failed to convert for a 6-4 scoreline after 18 minutes.
Two minutes later, Manly five-eighth Joshua Schuster took the line on to offload to Trbojevic who sent Tito over for his second try. Ala failed to convert for an 8-6 lead to Manly.
The Sea Eagles went to a 12-6 lead when lock Keegan Turner placed his hands on the ball just short of the dead ball line from a kick through by half-back Jamie Lawler from a scrum win 25 metres out. Ala failed to convert the try.
Manly scored first in the second half when hooker Jack Birt showed sheer determination to get across the line in the 40th minute on the back of a great run and quick play the ball by forward Viliami Fifita. Birt converted his own try for an 18-6 lead.
The Sea Eagles went to a 22-6 lead when five-eighth and captain Joshua Schuster showed plenty of pace to finish off a fine backline raid to score in the left corner in the 53rd minute. Birt converted from the sideline for a 24-6 scoreline.
Victory was secured when Birt sliced through a hole to score his second try next to the posts. He converted his own try for a 30-6 scoreline.
Schuster grabbed his second try in the 66th minute off a great offload in traffic by second-rower Siosiua Fotu. Birt converted for a 36-6 lead.
Manly will now have a week off and prepare for the preliminary final on Saturday, April 27.