5 KEY POINTS | Sharks v Manly
1. Fifita’s metres again lead the way
Andrew Fifita’s recent run of good form did not waver as the Sharks took to Brookvale, with the front rower running for an impressive 214 metres from his 24 carries.
Fifita took his average metres to 180 – a club best – and third overall across the League.
2. Matt Prior’s promotion to the run-on 13 validated by his work
While Fifita lead the Sharks charge, Matt Prior put in a strong showing also, churning out 142 metres from his 17 hit ups, with three offloads to boot.
3. Manly’s right edge proves lethal
Lead by skipper Jamie Lyon on the right flank, the Manly attack stood to test the Sharks’ defence, with ‘Killer’ and Tom Trbojevic proving more than a handful for Ricky Leutele and Sosaia Feki.
Two first half ‘No Tries’ to the Eagles down the right side was not enough to deter the hosts from persisting with the tactics, and they produced points in the second period as Stewart and Tom Trbojevic crossed for points.
4. Townsend’s running game again on the mark
Chad Townsend asked plenty of questions of the Manly line last night, taking on the defence on seven occasions and looking ominous at all comings.
Townsend’s late jink at the line to beat a tackler and send Valentine Holmes in to score was just one of the efforts that lead to reward.
5. Taupau’s late hit on Bird a game-changer after 25 minutes.
Jack Bird succumbed to a head-knock in the 25th minute and did not return, following Martin Taupau’s late shot.
Taupau will likely miss a game or two upon a visit to the judiciary – but while Manly played on with no immediate repercussions, the Sharks bench was reduced to three for the remaining 55 minutes.