Preview of tonight's Challenge Cup... LeagueUnlimited.com - NRL & Rugby League A View From The Hill ...
3 days ago
Manly did what they had to do in disposing of a pathetic South Sydney side 20-2 in an NRL clash which struggled to keep the Brookvale Oval crowd awake.
While it was hardly the type of performance that would have Melbourne worried ahead of the grand final re-match on Friday night, Manly took care of business in scoring three tries to none against a Souths side which threw nothing at the home side's line.
The Bunnies curiously opted to take a shot at goal when handed a penalty 15 metres out from the Manly line after 10 minutes, when popular opinion would have thought the visitors could have pushed for an early try from the handy field position.
But given their ineptness close to the Sea Eagles line for the ensuing 70 minutes, you could understand the Rabbitohs taking any points on offer as they took a 2-0 lead.
Souths had received a pre-game boost when skipper Roy Asotasi declared himself fit to play following a bout of concussion, the world's best front rower reportedly defying advice from the club's celebrity owner Russell Crowe not to play.
He may have been feeling a little giddy when he gave away an offside penalty that put Manly on the attack, centre Jamie Lyon making opposite number Fetuli Talanoa look like he had suffered a head knock as he easily stepped his way past for a 6-2 lead.
Like so many other attacking raids the ensuing set ended in yet another error, Manly capitalising on another penalty to get down the other end of the field where an Orford grubber found bulky prop Adam Cuthbertson scoring next to the posts.
Orford extended the advantage out to two converted tries after the break, and by the hour mark the crowd seemed more interested in a tussle between the rival mascots than the less-than-thrilling on-field entertainment.
It was only fitting that the home side iced the game on the back of a Souths error - Manly fullback Brett Stewart racing 60 metres to score under the posts after Nathan Merritt failed to find touch following a penalty.