Sharks outclassed by Sea Eagles
The early moments set the scene and from there the Sharks failed to respond, with the Manly Sea Eagles running out convincing 24-4 winners in their round six match up at Brookvale Oval.
Manly built an early 16-0 lead and were never headed, going to the break 20-0 in front before confirming the win in a scrappy second half.
For coach Peter Sharp is was a disappointing performance in a game the team should have been excited about playing.
“We lacked energy which is a concern. I was excited to be playing a quality team like Manly, to see where we were at and to build on what we did last week,” Sharp said. “But unfortunately the energy just wasn’t there.”
The match was just three minutes old when Manly posted first points, a Jorge Taufua line break leading to a long-range try by Steve Matai.
Jamie Lyon converted and the Sharks were already behind the eight-ball at 6-0 down.
The Sharks early woes were compounded not long after when a Brett Stewart speculator found Brenton Lawrence in space, with the prop showing good pace to streak away to score adjacent to the uprights.
Lyon was again on target and Manly led 12-0 after 15 minutes had elapsed.
And it hardly got any better when only five minutes later Taufua crashed through a couple of would-be defenders to cross out wide and extend the margin to 16.
Taufua was in the game again shortly after, intercepting a Todd Carney pass, only for big Sam Tagataese to run him down in what was an outstanding chase. After the Tagataese tackle Manly spread the ball before another last ditch effort, this time from Sosaia Feki denied the Sea Eagles a try in what was probably the lone bright spot in the Sharks first half effort.
The Sea Eagles however would add further to their first half advantage when another passing raid down the Sharks defensive right resulted in a second for Matai.
Lyon couldn’t add the extras however the home team would lead 20-0, an advantage they would take to the break.
In the wet and slippery conditions neither team was able to strong together too much enterprising football but another Manly try, this time to Peter Hiku made it 24-0, before the Sharks managed to get on the score board in the dying minutes.
A cross-field kick by Jeff Robson was batted back by Ricky Leutele, with Wade Graham on the spot to ground the football for the Sharks only points of the afternoon.
Adding to the Sharks problems hooker Isaac De Gois was forced from the field in prior to half time, with scans tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury.
In looking for positives in the Sharks performance, Leutele in the centres, Feki outside him and halfback Jeff Robson did a good job keeping Lyon and Daly Cherry Evans in check, while John Morris, in his 100th NRL game for the Sharks, did a power of work in the middle of the field.
The Sharks will now attempt to regroup ahead of their game next Saturday night against the defending champions the Sydney Roosters.
Wade Graham try
Steve Matai 2, Brenton Lawrence, Peter Hiku, Jorge Taufua tries, Jamie Lyon 2 goals