The Sharks season of woe has continued with the Manly Sea Eagles handing them a 26-0 hiding in their match at Remondis Stadium.
Despite having a handful of their stars back on deck after a number of weeks out with injury, the Sharks couldn’t match the Eagles attacking brilliance as they would fail to score a point for the third week in a row.
Needing a fast start to give them a boost of confidence after their recent run of outs, it was the opposite beginning for the Sharks when Brett Stewart broke through before finding Justin Horo in support, with the big back rower winning the race to the line.
Jamie Lyon converted and after just four minutes Manly led by 6-0.
The Sharks worked hard to stay in the contest in the next 15 minutes were turned back by some stout Manly defense, before the Sea Eagles would go further ahead with a try to Steve Matai.
Again Lyon was successful with his kick at goal and the Sharks were facing a 12-0 deficit after 20 minutes.
The Sea Eagles added to their advantage when Lyon scored after some clever lead up play from Daly Cherry Evans and despite the Manly skipper being unable to convert his own try, the Sharks were well and truly on the back foot at 16-0 down.
The Sharks appeared to have posted points to give themselves some hope going into the half time break, only for Sosaia Feki to be denied in a refereeing howler when the video officials ruled he lost control of the ball in trying to plant it down in the corner.
Skipper Paul Gallen was heard through the on-field microphones as saying the decision was another in a series of embarrassing moment for match officials in 2014, with most of the 13,000-strong crowd agreeing with his assessment.
The Sharks got over the line again in the early stages of the second half but once more the referee went upstairs and for a second time no try was ruled, this time the decision being that Tinirau Arona had been held up.
Manly on the other hand were only too willing to take the chances presented to them, with Tom Symonds scoring twice in a matter of minutes, the first off a Cherry Evans short ball, the next backing up a Lyon chip and chase.
With Lyon converting one of the two Manly tries the score had blown out to 26-0.
Feki went over again in the 60th minute, but on a night where nothing went right for the Sharks the touch judge ruled a forward pass and the try was disallowed.
As hard as they would try in the closing moments the Sharks were unable to get across the Manly line, with the Sea Eagles winning the Steve Rogers Trophy and handing the Sharks their 11th loss in 13 matches this season.
While the score line was certainly lopsided the Sharks had a number of willing performers, with Gallen backing up from Origin on Wednesday night one of those certainly trying hard in an effort to lift his team.
Todd Carney in his first match back was busy in attack, there were also again a lot to like about some of the things offered by youngster Fa’amanu Brown in the halves, while Wade Graham was aggressive in defense on the Sharks left hand edge.
The Sharks now have a short turnaround before meeting the Brisbane Broncos at Suncorp Stadium next Friday night.
Tom Symonds 2, Justin Horo, Steve Matai, Jamie Lyon tries, Jamie Lyon 3 goals
Minute by Minute scoring
4 mins – Manly 6-0 - Horo try, Lyon goal
19 mins – Manly 12-0 – Matai try, Lyon goal
30 mins – Manly 16-0 – Lyon try
55 mins – Manly 22-0 – Symonds try, Lyon goal
58 mins – Manly 26-0 – Symonds try