While the 2018 #NRL Pre-Season is still a few weeks away, there's a bunch of warm-up clashes happeni...
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Match summary: Manly have executed a comprehensive flogging of Cronulla in an afternoon of madness at Brookvale Oval in Sydney.
The biggest talking point from Sunday afternoon's clash became the tackle from Manly bad-boy John Hopoate on Cronulla replacement Keith Galloway. The interchange forward was stretchered from the field after copping an ugly forearm to the head from 'Hoppa', but later deemed to only have a concussion. Simpkins promptly dismissed Hopoate, despite his protesting at the decision.
The high shot came at the 30th minute when the home side held a commanding 24-0 lead. Tries to Monaghan (two), Watmough and Stewart saw the Sea Eagles holding Cronulla at bay. Uncharacteristic errors plagued the visitors until that play.
The final ten minutes of the first half saw Cronulla fight back, closing the gap to 24-16 at the break following three fast tries.
The second half however, turned things around again. The Sea Eagles scored an early try
Then 14 minutes in, McGoldrick, and minutes later Peachey, were binned for Cronulla, leaving Manly one player up on their opponents. As the game continued, Manly continued on their way, reaching 42-16 before the Sharks could muster a response.
In the end, Manly captain Monaghan bagged three tries in Manly's thorough thrashing of the Sharks. The only question left now is the playing future of John Hopoate.
Score details: SEA EAGLES 46 Tries: M Monaghan 3, A Watmough 2, B Stewart, S Dunley, S Menzies Goals: M Witt 7/8 SHARKS 20 Tries: R Aitken, L Covell, N Vagana, D Simmons Goals: L Covell 2/4 Brookvale Oval, Crowd: Referee: Paul Simpkins
By the clock:
PROGRAMME CHANGES Sea Eagles - as per Program Sharks - 10 Danny NUTLEY out. Dykes moves to 5/8th, Russell Aitken comes in to Halfback. Greg Bird moves to lock and Gallen slides back to the bench - Isemonger comes in to the second row.
0 min: KICKOFF at Brookvale.
4 min: NEWS- Four early penalties against Cronulla for silly tactics. Manly with possession close to the line.
5 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Monaghan slides between Maiava and Bailey and puts it down just to the left of the sticks. Witt converts easily. Manly lead 6-0.
12 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Monaghan kick through, Checking for Watmough being onside. Watmough awarded the try in a similar spot to Monaghan. Witt converts his second. Manly 12-0.
14 min: NEWS- Manly dominating so far as Cronulla just making uncharacteristic errors. The composure displayed against Penrith seems to have disappeared.
16 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Monaghan bags a double and Cronulla already looking flustered. Witt converts, Manly 18-0.
20 min: NEWS- An abhorrent display from the Sharkies continues as Simmons lets a bomb bounce, Peachey is forced to swarm on the ball and is deemed offside. Manly with the ball close to the line.
21 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Stewart gets one on the board as Cronulla look more inept by the second. Witt converts, Manly 24-0.
24 min: NO TRY- Sharks. Possible Peachey try denied, Penalty to Manly for obstruction. Manly continue leading 24-0.
30 min: STOPPAGE. Hopoate has coathangered Galloway with a forearm to the head. He may be sent off. Stay tuned...
30 min: SENT-OFF. After Keith Galloway is cheered from the field on a stretcher, John Hopoate has been sent from the field after what was an absolutely disgusting tackle. Manly with 12 men.
31 min: TRY- Sharks. From the ensuing penalty, Aitken, the Sharks youngster, darts over and puts Cronulla on the board. Covell converts with ease. Manly back down to 24-6.
36 min: TRY- Sharks. Covell awarded a try in the corner after a miraculous effort getting the ball on the line. Fails to convert his own, Manly 24-10 now.
40 min: TRY- Sharks. In 10 minutes the entire game has changed, Vagana scoring in the corner to bring the Sharks close at halftime. The Sharks making mince meat of a 12-man Manly in this last ten minutes. Covell converts. Manly 24-16.
HALFTIME Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24 Cronulla Sutherland Sharks 16
41 min: SECOND HALF underway, Manly notably starting without Hill in the second half, as Menzies moves to the centres to cover for Hopoate's send-off.
43 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. The Manly blokes refuse to lie down as the captain Monaghan gets his hat-trick taking Manly to a 28-16 lead. Witt maintains his perfect kicking record and now Manly are up 30-16.
47 min: NEWS- Manly have started the second half well despite being a man down. Patches of hop coming from Cronulla but giving away silly penalties in defence is letting them down. Manly 30 Cronulla 16 with a little over half an hour left.
54 min: SIN BIN- Simpkins losing the plot a little, sending McGoldrick (CRO) to the bin. Coloured dots appearing all over the Fox Sports screen now as both teams down to 12 men for 10 minutes.
55 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Shayne Dunley slides overand Manly look to have it all sewn up at Brookie with 25 left on the clock. Witt now 6/6 with conversions. Manly 36-16.
57 min: TRY- Sea Eagles. Watmough gets two. Kick to come, Manly 40-16. SIN BIN- Sharks. Peachey (CRO) off for backchat with Simpkins. Remarkably, there are two yellow dots beside Cronulla as Manly have 12 and Cronulla now 11. CONVERSION successful from Witt. Manly 42-16.
63 min: TRY- Sharks. The under-manned Sharks fight back through Simmons after a nice tackle forces the ball. Conversion missed from Covell. Manly 42-20.
64 min: NEWS- Ryan McGoldrick returns to the field from his sin-binning. Captain Peachey due back in 4 min.
68 min: NEWS- Peachey back on the park. TRY- Sea Eagles. Manly veteran Menzies scores try #150 in the Maroon and White as Manly make a mockery of Cronulla. Witt misses the first time today. Manly 46-20.
80 min: NEWS- after a pretty ordinary final 10 minutes the game has come to a fiery end with an all-in brawl to conclude proceedings. Penalty Sharks but nothing comes of it. Game over.
FULLTIME Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 46 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 20.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - M Monaghan (Sea Eagles) 2 - A Watmough (Sea Eagles) 1 - L Covell (Sharks) -----------------------------------------