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Sea Eagles go down to Wests Tigers in NRL trial

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles suffered a 52-18 loss to the Wests Tigers in an NRL trial at Leichhardt Oval today.

In the Sea Eagles only pre-season hit-out before the start of the Telstra Premiership, Manly Coach Des Hasler rested seven players including Daly Cherry-Evans, Jake Trbojevic, Dylan Walker, and Kieran Foran.

The only injury concern for Manly was a suspected broken thumb to Cade Cust. He will have scans tomorrow.

The match saw new signings Josh Aloiai, Andrew Davey and Christian Tuipulotu  given their first run in Manly colours while the likes of exciting youngsters Kaeo Weekes, Jack Birt, Ben Trbojevic, Tolu Koula, and Sione Fainu got a taste of first grade football.

Led out by stand-in captain Martin Taupau, Manly full-back Morgan Harper put his body on the line to stop James Roberts from scoring in the corner in the opening minute.

The Tigers opened the scoring when full-back Daine Laurie pushed off the defence out wide to score near the posts. Half-back Luke Brooks converted for a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.

Laurie grabbed his second try when he stayed alive on the inside to score after the ball was shifted to the left through several hands. Brooks converted from close range for a 12-0 lead after 12 minutes.

The Sea Eagles got on the board in the 17th minute when half-back Kaeo Weekes dived on a spilt crosskick in-goal by five-eighth Josh Schuster. Winger Reuben Garrick converted for a 12-6 scoreline.

The Wests Tigers went to a 16-6 lead when winger Asu Kepaoa strolled over in the left corner after an initial break by Brooks on the play before. Brooks failed to convert the try.

The home side were in again in the 33rd minute when centre Tommy Talau crossed over on Manly’s right edge again. Brooks converted from the sideline for a 22-6 lead.

Starting props Martin Taupau and Taniela Paseka along with lock Morgan Boyle were then rested with Sean Keppie, Josh Aloiai, and Toff Sipley taking the field.

The second half saw the introduction of Ben Trbojevic, Sione Fainu, Tevita Funa, Andrew Davey and Tolu Koula to name a few as well as some Manly Jersey Flegg and Blacktown Workers players.

The Wests Tigers were the first to score in the second 40 when Adam Doueihi carried Ben Trbojevic over the line. Brooks converted for a 28-6 lead after 49 minutes.

In a sign of the future, Schuster then put Ben Trbojevic over for a try in the 58th minute. Tevita Funa converted for a 34-12 scoreline.

Four minutes later, the Tigers were in again when Kelma Tuilagi scored next to the posts. Doueihi converted for a 40-12 lead.

Tigers winger David Nofoaluma then made it 44-12 when he crossed over in the right corner. Doueihi converted from the sideline for a 46-12 lead.

Jake Simpkin then spun and crashed his way over to score next to the posts. Doueihi converted foer a 52-12 lead with seven minutes remaining.

Schuster then produced some fine footwork to open up a gap to score next to the posts. Funa converted for the 52-18 scoreline.

Manly squad

1 Morgan Harper, 2 Christian Tuipulotu, 3 Brad Parker, 4 Moses Suli, 5 Reuben Garrick, 6 Josh Schuster, 7 Kaeo Weekes, 8 Taniela Paseka, 9 Cade Cust, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Jack Gosiewski, 12 Curtis Sironen, 13 Morgan Boyle; interchange: 14 Tevita Funa, 15 Josh Aloiai, 16 Sean Keppie, 17 Toff 23 Sipley, reserves: 18 Andrew Davey, 19 Jack Birt, 20 Ben Trbojevic, 21 Tolu Koula, 22 Zac Saddler, 23 Daniel Ala, 24 Sione Fainu, 25 Dylan Smith, 26 Alec Tuitavake, 27 Jonah Palota Kopa, 28 Zane Harris.