The send off has made a reappearance for the first time since 2015 as Manly took a 24-4 victory over the Melbourne Storm in a very spiteful, nasty and controversial clash at AAMI Park.
For a game that left plenty of talking points, it was a first half that was boring to say the very least with neither team able to get over the line or even look close to remotely scoring a try in the opening 40 minutes. The Storm without Cameron Smith looked lost in attack and errors crept into their game through the first half and was a similar story for Manly as well. The Sea Eagles took a 2-0 lead through a DCE penalty goal after 20 minutes and then the Storm hit back five minutes before half time when Cameron Munster took Melbourne's own shot at penalty goal after a string of repeat penalties by Manly. The talking point out of the first half was the sin binning of Jake Trbojevic by Henry Perenara for Manly's ill-discipline late in the first half in what would become the first of 4 sin bins for the game.
The second half started the same way as the first with Manly conceding a string of penalties before Cameron Munster added another penalty goal to take the Melbourne Storm to the lead for the first time in the game by 4-2. The game was heading down a very similar path before Matt Wright somehow got himself through to a DCE kick that was looking certain to go dead off a rebounded kick but Matt Wright took a leap of faith to try and get the ball down. The live shots looked as if the ball had gone out but the replays showed Henry Perenara's live decision of Try was confirmed by the bunker.
The biggest moment of the game was what started out as push and shove after an error before being settled down by Henry Perenara only to flare up again when Curtis Scott out of nowhere threw a coward punch at Dylan Walker hitting him flush in the eye before it all started over with plenty of grabbing and punches. After review Curtis Scott was given his marching orders by referee Henry Perenara becoming the first player sent off since 2015 for the punch. Manly went immune from the disciplining from the clash with Dylan Walker and Api Koroisau sent to the sin bin, which ended up leading to more controversy that will leave everyone talking for days to come which saw Api Koroisau return to the field after just 8 minutes and 19 seconds along with Matt Wright who replaced Dylan Walker who failed a HIA test during his time off the field.
The game still had plenty of fire in it's belly but it was calmed down a fraction and just under ten minutes later Manly added a second try to their tally for the night with Akuila Uate getting
over the line in the corner to push the Manly lead further out.
The Storm tried to come back into the game but all they could do was come up with errors and Manly continued their scoring with Tom Trbojevic getting across off a great kick from DCE and it was
approved by the bunker after having to check a collison between Trent Hodkinson and Dale Finucane on the kick chase.
Manly added another penalty goal before Henry Perenara used the sin bin for a fourth time in the game with Josh Addo-Carr given his marching orders for a professional foul as Manly attacked the
Melbourne goalline. The Sea Eagles added another penalty goal before right on the full time siren Moses Suli used the extra two man advantage and had too much strength to get over the line and seal
the victory despite the missed conversion.
Next weekend, the Melbourne Storm have a road trip up into North Queensland on Friday night for the 7:30 game against the Cowboys whilst Manly are on the road yet again with a trip to the nations
capital in the Early Friday game against Canberra.