Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 30-6 loss to the Melbourne Storm at Sunshine Coast Stadium today in round 16 of the Telstra Premiership.
The match saw exciting young Manly junior Albert Hopoate make his NRL debut in the centres with Jack Gosiewski dropping back to the interchange bench.
The Sea Eagles blew a tryscoring opportunity in the fifth minute when winger Reuben Garrick failed to ground the ball from a Jake Trbojevic kick.
Manly were forced to soak up some heavy pressure inside their quarter for some time before the pressure told when centre Justin Olam got on the outside of Hopoate to score in the 11th minute. Hooker Cameron Smith converted for a 6-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Manly prop Addin Fonua-Blake strolled over behind the posts from a short pass by Martin Taupau. Garrick converted for a 6-all scoreline after 16 minutes.
The Storm took a 10-6 lead when Josh Addo-Carr followed a Smith kick downfield only to see the ball stay infield for his winger to lead the chase to score in the 21st minute. Smith failed to convert the try from the sideline.
A set play from a scrum win off the back of a successful Captain’s Challenge saw the Storm cross for their third when prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona charged onto a pass to score next to the posts in the 25th minute. Smith failed to convert the try for a 14-6 scoreline.
Match Highlights: Storm v Sea Eagles
The Sea Eagles produced some great defence on their line inside the final five minutes of the first half after several attacking raids and a weight of possession by the Storm to go into half-time trailing 14-6.
Manly missed a second tryscoring opportunity three minutes after the break when Cade Cust knocked the ball on from a pass by Brad Parker after the centre flew high to take a bomb next to the posts.
Olam grabbed his second try in the 47th minute after the Storm found Manly wanting on the right side from an Addo-Carr break. Smith failed to convert the try for an 18-6 lead.
The Sea Eagles had another chance to score but a pass to Parker saw him fumble the ball before the line with 24 minutes remaining.
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Three minutes later, the Sea Eagles managed to hold up winger Isaac LumeLume over the line with desperate cover defence.
Olam crossed for his third try when Ryan Papenhuyzen and Addo-Carr combined to send the centre over for a 22-6 lead with 15 minutes remaining. Smith converted for a 24-6 scoreline.
The Storm finished the match with a runaway try to Addo-Carr in the final play of the game. Smith converted the try for the 30-6 victory.
The loss leaves Manly in 12th place ahead with four rounds remaining.
The Sea Eagles play Wests Tigers (11th) at Lottoland next Saturday night.