Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recorded a 24-14 victory over the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Pointsbet Stadium this afternoon in round 10 of the Telstra Premiership.
Exciting young half Cade Cust (below) became the 615th player to play first grade for the Sea Eagles when he made his NRL debut, replacing the injured Lachlan Croker (hamstring). The match marked the return of centre Dylan Walker for 2019.
The Sea Eagles players wore black armbands in remembrance of the Club’s NRL Wellbeing and Education Manager, Quentin Pongia, who passed away on Saturday.
Prop Addin Fonua-Blake opened the scoring for the Sea Eagles when he strolled through a gap to score next to the posts in the seventh minute. Winger Reuben Garrick converted for a 6-0 lead after nine minutes.
The Sharks hit back when centre Bronson Xerri beat winger Jorge Taufua to a grubber kick from five-eighth Kyle Flanagan to score out wide. Flanagan failed to convert the try to leave the Sharks trailing 6-4 after 12 minutes.
The Sea Eagles took a 10-4 lead when full-back Brendan Elliot (below) got around centre Josh Morris to score in the right corner in the 20th minute. Garrick converted the try from out wide for a 12-4 lead after 22 minutes.
Cronulla was denied a try in the 32nd minute to hooker Jayden Brailey before the Sea Eagles were forced to soak up some strong pressure on their own line through a series of raids from the Sharks.
The Sea Eagles went to a 16-4 lead when half-back Kane Elgey put up a towering bomb that was spilt by Cronulla full-back Josh Dugan for Elgey to regather to score next to the posts in the 35th minute. Garrick converted for an 18-4 lead with the score remaining that way to half-time.
The Sea Eagles stretched their lead to 22-4 two minutes after half-time when Dylan Walker toed through the ball after it bounced off a Sharks player from a kick by Garrick off a bomb to score. Garrick converted the try for a 24-4 lead after 44 minutes.
Cronulla hit back in the 49th minute when forward Braden Hamlin-Uele took a quick penalty tap to catch the Sea Eagles napping to score next to the posts. Flanagan converted for a 24-10 scoreline.
The Sharks then enjoyed a weight of possession inside Manly's quarter and the pressure told when winger Sosaia Feki swooped on a grubber kick by half-back Chad Townsend to score in the 71st minute for a 24-14 scoreline. Flanagan failed to convert the try.
The Sea Eagles now play the Gold Coast Titans at Lottoland next Friday at 6pm.