A dominant Manly Warringah Sea Eagles produced their best performance of the season with a superb 42-14 victory over the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium today in Round 12 of the Telstra Premiership.
The return of injury from talented five-eighth Josh Schuster and tireless forward Jake Trbojevic saw the Sea Eagles spark into over drive, led superbly by champion full-back Tom Trbojevic, who reminded critics of what he can do with a hat-trick performance.
Schuster also reminded his critics, too, of the tremendous talent the gifted ballplayer has as Manly ended a three game losing run in emphatic fashion..
The Sea Eagles were led out for the Indigenous Round match by Manly legend Cliff Lyons, who holds the record of most first grade games for the club.
The match also marked the Club debut of Ben Condon who became the 645th player to play first grade for Manly.
The Raiders got off to a quick start on the back of some drop ball from Manly for 6-0 lead after six minutes through second-rower Elliot Whitehead after he liced past Ben Trbojevic and Josh Schuster to score near the posts.
Manly full-back Tom Trbojevic showed his skill and strength when he managed to get the ball down inches from going into touch for a 6-4 scoreline after 19 minutes.
A superb 40/20 kick by Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans led to a great try out wide to centre Brad Parker. Garrick converted to give Manly a 10-6 lead after 24 minutes.
Manly went to a 16-6 lead in the 34th minute after Trbojevic crossed for his second try off a lovely inside ball from Josh Schuster.
Canberra captain Jarrod Croker converted a penalty goal after the half time siren after being on the end of a high tackle from second-rower Haumole Olakauátu who was placed on report in the 39th minute, with Manly taking a 16-8 lead into the break.
The Sea Eagles continued their strong intensity early in the second half with some great commitment in defence and some fine attack.
Manly extended their lead to 20-8 when winger Reuben Garrick stretched out to get the ball down in the corner in the 49th minute.
Tom Trbojevic grabbed his third try a minute later when he combined with winger Jason Saab to stroll his way to the line for a 24-8 lead.
A short kick and regather by Josh Schuster saw the five-eighth score behind the posts for a 30-8 lead in the 59th minute. Manly prop Sean Keppie and Raiders back-rower Hudson Young were then sin-binned following a melee after the try.
A break by Garrick saw him send winger Jason Saab over in cruise control to score in his 50th game for Manly. Garrick converted for a 36-8 lead with 14 minutes remaining.
The Raiders then scored in the 69th minute through Ata Mariota for a 36-14 lead before Condon put the icing on the cake to score on the siren for the 42-14 win.