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Sea Eagles fly high in magical night for DCE

Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans and his beloved Sea Eagles have made it a magical night to remember at 4 Pines Park tonight.

It was a historic day for the club with Cherry-Evans breaking the long time record of Cliff Lyons for most games for Manly (310) in a 32-18 victory over premiers Penrith.

The match also saw second-rower Corey Waddell play his 100th NRL game after making his first grade debut at Manly in 2019.

The Sea Eagles also snapped a two-game losing streak in front of a sold out crowd of 17,381.

Cherry-Evans spoke about his pride in the team and how they came together for the victory after a disappointing two weeks. 

“Just so proud of the team tonight, we played really poorly last week. We focused on what we needed to improve during the week. And to be back at ‘Brookie’, I feel like that really plays a role in that,'' said Cherry-Evans. 

"It makes a milestone more special when everyone focuses to what we actually want to do, which is to get the win."

Manly coach Anthony Seibold spoke about Cherry-Evans and how the team used their strengths tonight.

“Yeah it’s very fitting. ‘Chez’ has been consistent over a long period of time for the club. We know we got it in us.'' Seibold said.

"We narrowed our focus to what our weapons are, we’ve got some speed, we’ve got a great kicking game. We’ve based trying to play our game around the strengths."

The opening two minutes set a precedent for the match as the Sea Eagles duo of Jake Trbojevic and Taniela Paseka combined with a strong tackle to force an error from Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards. They were unfortunately hit with a major blow just one minute later with centre Reuben Garrick being ruled out of the match due to a concussion. 

Panthers halfback Brad Schneider scored the opening try in the sixth minute after breaking through the defence for an early 6-0 lead. 

Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic and Cherry-Evans combined with some scramble defence at the line to prevent Penrith winger Brian To’o from scoring as they continued to hold out the visitors relentless attack. 

The Sea Eagles hit back and crossed for a try in the 25th minute through Tom Trbojevic. A good shift through the hands freed up enough space for “Turbo” to break through the defence, beat his opposing number and crash over for a try to level the score at 6-all. 

A penalty for a dangerous tackle gifted the Sea Eagles an opportunity at goal, which was converted by Cherry-Evans to give his side an 8-6 lead with nine minutes remaining in the first half. 

The Manly faithful erupted in the 34th minute as Koula raced 90 metres downfield to score his third try of the season. Centre Tommy Talau tried to intercept the ball and it bounced backwards, allowing Koula to scoop up the ball and sprint downfield to score for a 14-6 lead at the break. 

Penrith started the second half in fine fashion with a long-range try in the 45th minute for Edwards, cutting the deficit to 14-12. 

Manly were in red-hot form and quickly piled the points on the Panthers with two quick tries in a two-minute period. 

Cherry-Evans scored his 86th career try in front of the Lyons-Menzies Stand as the crowd erupted. The halfback combined with Tom Trbojevic for a quick one-two and bobbled the ball in front of the posts before diving over to score in the 54th minute for a 20-12 scoreline. 

Two minutes later and the Sea Eagles were in again through another milestone man when Waddell scooped up a loose ball metres out from the line and crashed over next to the posts to score to make it 26-12. 

The three-peat premiers had no answer as Manly crossed for their fifth try  through winger Jaxson Paulo in the 63rd minute. A quick shift to the right edge and a smart tap-on pass from Ben Trbojevic sent Paulo over in the corner to take the score to 32-12. 

Penrith capitalised on a no-try ruling for the Sea Eagles in the 67th minute and went on to score one minute later through Edwards for a final scoreline of 32-18. 

The Sea Eagles take on the New Zealand Warriors in round six of the NRL Telstra Premiership on Saturday April 13, at 5.30pm at Go Media Stadium. 

Sea Eagles 32 (Tries: T. Trbojevic 25’, Koula 34’, Cherry-Evans 54’, Waddell 56’, Paulo 63’. Goals: Cherry-Evans 6/6) def. Panthers 18 (Tries: Schneider 5’, Edwards 45’, 69’. Goals: Edwards 3/3) 

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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