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4 days ago
THEY already had a top four spot all but sewn up but the Manly Sea Eagles made a statement to the rest of the top eight at Brookvale Oval tonight.
Their comprehensive 28-8 victory over last year's Premiers sent a message that the competition is wide open with the finals just a week away and they plan on having a say in who competes for the Grand Final.
Manly's right-hand side attack tore the Storm left edge to shreds with David Williams grabbing a hat-trick, Brett Stewart a double and Daly Cherry-Evans also crossing.
Sea Eagles five-eighth Kieran Foran told Fox Sports after the game despite the success they had down the right, it wasn't a pre-conceived plan.
"It just worked out that way. We've got some good combinations down that side and they pulled it off brilliantly tonight."
The 20-point win was set up in the opening stanza when the Sea Eagles raced out to a 20-0 lead after 29 minutes.
"We wanted to stick it to them and it came off the back of our D," Foran said.
In possibly their worst half of football for the year, the Storm completed just eight of 13 sets in the opening 40 and were lucky to find themselves only 16 points down at halftime with captain Cameron Smith conceding his side needed to be better leading into the finals.
"Tonight's very disappointing. We were well below our best.