A brilliant attacking display saw the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles crush Penrith Panthers 60-0 at Lottoland today in round eight of the NSWRL SG Ball Cup.
The Sea Eagles ran in 11 tries in their best win of the season under Coach Brett Fulton.
Winger Uluaki Tuipulotu scored a hat-trick of tries with full-back Kaeo Weekes and centre Tolu Koula scoring two tries each. Half-back Jamie Humphreys scored a try and kicked eight goals for a personal haul of 20 points.
Despite the huge scoreline in the end, the opening 15 minutes was a real arm wrestle with both teams unable to capitalise on their opportunities at either end of the field.
Manly centre Simon Tito carried two defenders over the line for the first try of the match in the 19th minute. Halfback Jamie Humphreys missed the conversion from the sideline for a 4-0 lead.
Three minutes later, Sea Eagles prop James Uesele offloaded to hooker Gordon Chan Kum Tong, who ducked and weaved around defenders before passing it to Weekes, who showed his pace to race past the Panthers’ fullback. Humphreys converted from in front for a 10-0 lead.
Manly grabbed its third try within minutes as winger Cameron Brown scored after centre Tolutau Koula batted the ball backwards. The 25th minute try was thanks to a well-placed kick and a well-timed jump. Humphreys converted to make the score 16-0.
Usele pulled something out of nothing, stripping the ball one-on-one from 25 metres out before outrunning three defenders and scoring. Humphreys converted to give Manly a commanding 22-0 lead at the break.
The second half started with a handful of penalties for the Panthers in the Sea Eagles territory. Despite this, Manly’s defence was too strong and a silly pass from Penrith’s winger Ashley Cosgrove ended their chance.
The Sea Eagles continued to pile the points on with Humphreys scoring in the 45th minute after orchestrating the play. He broke through a hole in the line and passed the ball to one of his forwards before getting the ball back off an offload and going over for a try. He converted his own try for a 28-0 scoreline.
Manly lock Siua Fotu found his name on the scoresheet three minutes later, running a short ball off dummy half to make it over the tryline. Humphreys made the conversion to bring the score to 34-0.
The home side grabbed their seventh try of the game in the 52nd minute, coming off the back of an excellent kick that sat up just shy of the deadball line. With three Panthers’ players around the ball, Koula came flying in to grab the ball and ground it, sending the players into a frenzy. Humphreys converted to take the score to 40-0.
The Sea Eagles continued their dominance when centre Simon Tito dragged in two defenders to flick the ball to Tuipulotu who dived over in the right corner in the 54th minute. Humphreys failed to convert for a 44-0 scoreline.
With 10 minutes to play, Tito was influential again with ball in hand, grabbing another assist as he found Tuipulotu who got his second try for the match. Humphreys missed the conversion to bring the score to 48-0.
Tuipulotu grabbed his hat-trick try in the 67th minute, catching a cut-out pass and stepping off his right foot to crash past his opposing winger, bringing up the team’s half-century in the process. Humphreys nailed the conversion from the sideline to bring up a 54-0 scoreline.
In what was some blistering football, Koula showed some brilliant pace to run down the sideline, drag in the Panthers’ fullback and pass it to Weekes who scored underneath the post, capping off an outstanding game for the Manly side. Humphreys converted from in front as the full-time siren went for the 60-0 win.
The Sea Eagles pack proved too dominant, piling points on the Penrith side and blitzing them on both sides of the field in attack while also keeping them to zero points with some strong defence throughout the 70 minutes.
Manly play the Dragons at Mascot Oval on Friday, April 2, at 1pm.