The exceptional speed of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles backline went into overdrive tonight in a crushing 58-18 win over the Dolphins at 4 Pines Park.
In the first ever match against the NRL newcomers, the Dolphins, the Sea Eagles raced in 10 tries to three to record their biggest, and most impressive win, of the season in front of a very happy crowd of 14, 598.
With the strong and mobile Manly pack dominating up front early, the Sea Eagles raced to a commanding lead to leave the field at half-time with a 28-6 lead.
The Sea Eagles didn't rest up either in the second half, and after producing some fine defence to keep the Dolphins at bay, Manly ran in five more tries with centre Reuben Garrick crossing for a hat-trick.
Garrick also kicked nine from 10 goals for a personal haul of 30 points to enter his name in the club's record books for the second time for 30 points in a match. He was one point off breaking the record.
Furthermore, Garrick passed 900 career points for Manly since making his NRL debut for the Sea Eagles in 2019. He now sits sixth on the club record list for most points for Manly.
Not to be outdone, full-back Tom Trbojevic, winger Jason Saab and centre Tolu Koula crossed for two tries each.
Hooker Lachlan Croker also crossed for a try and led the tackle count for Manly with 33 tackles to cap off a fine game for the hard working hooker who was given a well-earned rest after 60 minutes.
Saab scored the opening try in the third minute after an early error from the Dolphins for a -0 lead.
After having a hand in the first try, Garrick switched from playmaker to tryscorer to dive over four minutes later. He converted his own try to take the score to 10-0.
Trbojevic got the Manly faithful on their feet with a barnstorming run to score Manly's third try after 12 minutes for a 16-0 lead.
The Sea Eagles had blood in their sight and there were no signs of stopping, with Croker scoring the fourth try three minutes later after some great work by half-back and captain Daly Cherry-Evans. Garrick converted for a 22-0 scoreline.
Prop Toafofoa Sipley was denied a try in the 18th minute by the NRL bunker for a double movement before the Dolphins scored through winger Jamayne Isaako for a 22-6 scoreline.
The Sea Eagles scored a sensational team try in the 30th minute, culminating with Garrick crossing for his second. Cherry-Evans set up the play with an inside ball to Trbojevic who found himself in space to offload to Croker who, with a player on him, chipped the ball towards the in-goal area. The kick rolled forward and came to a stop before Garrick dived to ground it. He converted for a 28-6 scoreline.
Trbojevic turned on the 'Turbo' jets in the 45th minute to score his second try with sensational team effort. ‘DCE’ placed a chip over the defensive line at his own 20-metre line that sat up perfectly for Garrick. The centre passed to Trbojevic who quickly pulled up to assess the defence. After two quick back-and-forth passes between them, Trbojevic got the ball again 10 metres out from the line to score. Garrick converted to extend the lead to 34-6.
It was Koula’s turn to showcase his speed and, boy did he do just that, after five-eighth Josh Schuster chipped the ball over the Dolphins players for the centre to beat the defence to score for a 40-6 lead.
Dolphins fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow scored seven minutes later after a good shift in play from a scrum deep in Manly’s territory. Isaako converted to bring the score to 40-12.
Koula scored his second try in the 67th minute with a 75-metre long-range effort, once again showing his speed. Young second-rower Samuela Fainu deflected an attempted Dolphins kick and scooped the ball off the ground before offloading to the flying speedster. Garrick converted for a 46-12 scoreline.
Saab had his turn to score two tries and did so two minutes after Koula’s try. Garrick caught a looping Cherry-Evans pass and flicked the ball out to Saab a few moments later, who raced away for the try. Garrick nailed the conversion from the sideline to take the score to 52-12.
Garrick dived over with just under five minutes of play remaining to bring up his hat-trick. Olakau’atu was the man who orchestrated the try, breaking through a tackle and sending Garrick over to take the lead to 46 points.
Tabuai-Fidow scored a late consolation try for the final scoreline of 58-18, giving Manly a memorable first win over the Dolphins.
Manly travel to Parramatta to take on the Eels in Round 16 of the NRL Telstra Premiership on Saturday June 17, 5.30pm, at CommBank Stadium.