Jeff Dickinson-Fox reviews the campaign which saw Melbourne Storm crowned premiers in 2017.
2 days ago
A powerful display by Manly has led them to a convincing 32-0 victory over Newcastle in front of 12,263 fans at Brookvale Oval tonight.
There was intent from the opening tackle from the Sea Eagles, as they bruised the Knights forwards forcing them into errors unlike last Monday back at Hunter Stadium. Manly aren't a side to constantly turn the ball over to, as they opened the scoring in the 8th minute through Taufua who is earning a reputation as a finisher. Lyon converted and it was a perfect opening for the home side.
Beau Scott tried to lift his side with some strong runs but the penalties and errors continued leading to a pin-point kick from Daly Cherry-Evans for Jumpin' Jamie Lyon who scored unopposed. He added the easy conversion from his own try to take us to 10-0.
Newcastle worked their way back into the contest, looking to get on the scoreboard but strong defensive shape from the Sea Eagles repelled them each time even with a few penalties going the Knights way just before halftime. Their fortunes weren't helped by injuries to Dane Gagi and Willie Mason limiting them to two bench players.
From two tries behind, It was a long road back for the Knights but they needed to score first to put some pressure on the home side. They applied pressure on the Sea Eagles but the errant pass worked into their favour as Anthony Watmough picked up the scraps and ran 60 metres to score. It was 14-0 and last Monday seemed an eternity ago for the Knights.
Nothing was sticking for the Knights and they were made to pay each time. Jorge Taufua collected his second in the 62nd minute after taking the ball around his ankles, spinning and planting the ball just on the line following video referee intervention. Lyon made it 20-0 and it was game over.
It wouldn't be a home game at Brookvale unless Brett Stewart crossed the stripe, adding to his already impressive tally. There was a stylish hooked kick from Jamie Lyon that left Stewart to out-sprint Jeremy Smith to touchdown. That try made it 67 tries in 70 games for the "Prince of Brookvale" and he had clobbered the Knights tonight making them into paupers.
Taufua though would steal the headlines in the 78th minute completing his hat-trick after Manly went to their trusty left side sweeping backline play. Tom Symonds poked through, offloaded to the winger who finished an impressive Sea Eagles display in style, 32-0 and dominant throughout.
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES 32 (Jorge Taufua 3, Jamie Lyon, Anthony Watmough, Brett Stewart tries; Jamie Lyon 4/6 goals) defeated NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS 0 at Brookvale Oval. Halftime: Sea Eagles 10-0. Crowd: 12,263. Referees: Chris James and Ben Cummins.