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Second half century for Manly in win over Souths

A hat-trick to powerful running centre Taleenza Nelson has seen the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles crush South Sydney Rabbitohs 52-6 in round three of the Tarsha Gale Cup/.

The Sea Eagles led 22-6 at half-time before running riot in the second half with 30 unanswered points in the U19s women's match.

It is the second straight week the high flying Sea Eagles have reached the half century mark under Coach Keith Hanley after demolishing St George Dragons 52-0 in their season opener at Kogarah last weekend, proving it was not a one off.

Manly ran in 10 tries to one with hard running prop Alianna Tonuu also scoring a double. 

The Sea Eagles got off to a flying start with a try to Nelson in the third minute for a 4-0 lead before Tonuu used her strength to push past four defenders to score next to the posts. Half-back Danii Nicole Gray converted for a 10-0 lead.

The Sea Eagles showed unity in defence to hold out South Sydney’s chances over the next 10 minutes, with the home side having numerous chances in Manly’s territory to no avail. 

Manly continued their dominance with a try to hooker Bella Morris in the 20th minute. Nicole Gray converted for a 16-0 scoreline. 

Nelson bagged her second try five minutes later with another well-timed shift of the ball freeing up space for her to score. Gray converted to push the lead out to 22-0.

Rabbit trap....the Sea Eagles muscle up in defence against Souths
Rabbit trap....the Sea Eagles muscle up in defence against Souths ©Matthew Long (Lock and Load Photos)

The Rabbitohs hit back for their first try with less then a minute to play in the half. Forward Nyokah Dumas crashed over next to the posts to make it 22-6 at halftime. 

It didn’t take Manly long to get back into the swing of things as they scored two tries in the opening four minutes of the second half to push their lead out to 30-6. Nelson completed her hat-trick in the 31st minute with a barging run and Krystal Weekes dived over three minutes later, with both tries coming from good shifts to the edge to free up space.  

The Rabbitohs' afternoon was going from bad to worse, with winger Chloe Beazley being sent to the sin-bin. Moments later, Sea Eagles five-eighth Matisse Bettridge took advantage of the situation to score under the posts with a strong run. She converted her own try for a 36-6 lead with 15 minutes remaining. 

Manly continued to run rampant with their eighth try coming in the 50th minute through Tonuu after she charged at the line off a short pass to slam the ball down under the posts for he second try. Nicole Gray converted for a 42-6 scoreline. 

Out of my way.....Prop Alianna Tonuu carries four defenders on her way to her try
Out of my way.....Prop Alianna Tonuu carries four defenders on her way to her try ©Ricky Newell

Goal kicking wasn’t enough for Gray as she crossed over for a try of her own in the 54th minute thanks to a wonderful offload from forward Indiana Russell-Lia on the 40 metre line. Bettridge converted for a 48-6. 

With full-time right around the corner, Manly wanted 50 points and got just that. Karaitiana got the ball on the right edge and forced her way past the opposition to score for the 52-6 victory.

The Sea Eagles play their first game at home against the Cronulla Sharks on Sunday February 25, at 12.30pm at 4 Pines Park. 

Sea Eagles 52 (tries: Nelson 3’, Tonuu 7’, Morris 20’, Nelson 25’, 31’, Weekes 34’, Bettridge 42’, Tonuu 50’, Nicole Gray 54’, Tunufai 58’. Nicole Gray 4/8, Bettridge 2/2 goals) def. Rabbitohs 6 (Try: Dumas 28’. Wright 1/1 goal) 


Acknowledgement of Country

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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