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Fulltime score: Finals 2005 - Week 1 Parramatta Eels 46 v Manly Sea Eagles 22 Match summary: The Parramatta Eels have defeated the Manly Sea Eagles 46-22 at Parramatta Stadium this afternoon. The loss means Manly?s finals campaign has ended, and the Parramatta side have earned themselves a week?s rest.
The game got off to a fiery start, with Manly centre Terry Hill, desperate to keep his career alive, getting himself into hot water from the referee on a number of occasions. But it was the Eels that opened the scoring and Timana Tahu bamboozled Manly?s Steve Matai in defence and gave the Eels a 4-0 lead.
Rookie of the year Tim Smith lifted another gear and after just 11 minutes, the Eels already had a 10-0 lead. Smith provided lock Chad Robinson with a brilliant inside ball resulting in the try, which was converted by Luke Burt.
The speed out of dummy half from Parramatta was taking its toll on the Manly defence, and Mark Riddell caught the defensive line napping, darting over for the try from close range. The Eels led 16-0 after 17 minutes and the floodgates were opening.
The Eels went in for the kill with successive tries to Eric Grothe and Luke Burt just before halftime, and took an unassailable 28-0 lead into the sheds.
NSW backrower Anthony Watmough provided the Manly fans with something to cheer about, crossing for his side?s first try after 46 minutes of play, and the Eels led 28-4.
Timana Tahu charged through a gap in the Sea Eagles? line, before scoring under the posts and slamming the ball over the crossbar, showing that he could be playing in the NBA rather than the NRL. Any chance Manly had of running the Eels down had then been snuffed out, with Parramatta taking a 30 point lead.
Manly five eighth Michael Witt crossed for a consolation try with just 15 minutes left in the game, making the scoreboard look a little more respectable and with Monaghan converting the try, it was 34-10 in favour of the Eels.
Both sides managed to cross another two times each, with Manly making the scoreboard look much closer than it could have been at halftime, and Parramatta ran out winners by 46 points to 22.
The Eels will now put their feet up for a week, and may take the favourites tag off the Dragons with their first half performance, which was performed without the presence of Nathan Hindmarsh, who will benefit from the week?s rest immensely.
Manly are eliminated as a result of today?s loss, a disappointing end to a season which looked so promising early on. Only managing to limp into the top eight after the start they had must be a frustration for the Sea Eagles, who will have some soul searching to do in the off-season.
Eels v Sea Eagles match photos: Click here to see the photo gallery for this game
Scorers: PARRAMATTA EELS 46 Tries: Tahu 2, Robinson, Riddell, Grothe, Burt, Wagon, Peek Goals: Burt 7/8 MANLY SEA EAGLES 22 Tries: Kennedy 2, Watmough, Witt Goals: Witt 0/2, Monaghan 1/1, Williamson 2/2
Venue: Parramatta Stadium Crowd: 19,710 Referee: Tim Mander Half time: Eels 28-0
Live commentary: Today sees the 4th Qualifying final take place between the first placed Parramatta Eels and the 8th placed Manly Sea Eagles at Parramatta Stadium. A warm day in Sydney for this game but temperatures should drop before gametime, as we have a 4pm kickoff. History is against the Manly side, since the inception of the McIntyre finals system in 1999, never has the 8th placed side defeat the minor premiers, but the way the 2005 season has unfolded, who knows what will eventuate.
Changes: Eels: In: Adam Peek onto the bench. Out: Fui Fui Moi Moi (suspended), Luke O'Dwyer, Aaron Cannings (Omitted).
Changes: Sea Eagles: In: Michael Witt to Five Eighth. Out: Mark Bryant, Chad Randall (Omitted).
Positional changes: Michael Witt to Five Eighth. Steve Menzies to 2nd row. Brent Kite to start in the Front Row. Luke Williamson to Hooker. Daniel Heckenberg to the Bench. Shayne Dunley to the Bench.
0 min: KICKOFF!, the 4th Qualifying final is underway at Parramatta Stadium.
2 min: NEWS-A fiery start here, with Michael Witt missing an attempt at penalty goal and hitting the post.
3 min: NEWS-Jason King on report for a dangerous throw, penalty Eels.
5 min: NEWS-Terry Hill penalised for abusing referee Tim Mander, Hill has been involved in a few incidents already.
7 min: NEWS-Scuffle between Steve Matai and Luke Burt, one gets the feeling this game is about to erupt.
8 min: TRY-Eels Timana Tahu beats Matai 1 on 1 in defence with some dazzling footwork, great cut-out ball from Tim Smith resulting in the try. Conversion unsuccessful from Luke Burt. Eels 4-0
11 min: TRY-Eels Another sensational ball from Tim Smith, this time providing Chad Robinson with a try under the sticks. Conversion is successful from Burt. Eels 10-0
17 min: TRY-Eels Mark Riddell busts through the Manly defence from close range and crosses for the Eels' third try. The floodgates are now opening. Burt converts. Eels 16-0
19 min: NO TRY-Try disallowed by the video referee as John Morris was ruled to have knocked the ball forward after a contest for the high ball. Manly seem to be making up the numbers in this year's finals series.
23 min: NEWS-Terry Hill is down injured. Much to the delight of the Parramatta crowd. Still 16-0 in favour of the Eels.
27 min: TRY-Eels Eric Grothe scores yet another try for the Eels, after repeat sets of six on the Manly line, the Sea Eagles just cannot keep up with the intensity that the Parramatta side are displaying. Conversion is successful from Luke Burt. Eels 22-0
35 min: TRY-Eels Luke Burt plants the ball down in the corner after some quick passing from Tim Smith and Ben Smith, enabling Burt to get on the outside of his opposing defender. Conversion from the sideline is a good one from Burt. Eels 28-0
HALF TIME-Parramatta have put on a brilliant display in the first half, running in 5 tries to lead 28-0 at the break. Tim Smith has led the Eels' charge, having a hand in 3 of the 5 tries scored. Manly have put in a mistake-riddled performance, and only have 40 minutes left in their season unless they can pull off a miracle.
Second half underway at Parramatta Stadium
46 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Anthony Watmough scores Manly's first try, receiving a beautiful flick pass from Ben Kennedy. Michael Witt hits the posts again, this time from close range. Eels 28-4
50 min: TRY-Eels Timana Tahu gets his second try and slam dunks the ball over the cross-bar, an excellent break from a superb athlete. Burt adds the extras. Eels 34-4
55 min: NEWS-Manly's attack has been nothing short of atrocious today, having no structure at all and just standing there looking at one another.
58 min: NEWS-Mark Riddell down injured after being hit high by Michael Witt. Witt has been placed on report.
62 min: NEWS-Parramatta seem to be losing their way at the moment, trying to score off every play and not structuring their sets of six. They have the game won at 34-4 but will need to build on this performance later on in the finals series.
65 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Michael Witt scores a consolation try for Manly, Brian Smith will not be happy with his team's effort in this second half. Conversion successful from Michael Monaghan. Eels 34-10
68 min: TRY-Eels Daniel Wagon runs into a gap off Michael Vella and scores close to the posts. Conversion successful from Burt. Eels 40-10
73 min: TRY-Sea Eagles Michael Monaghan puts in a crafty chip over the top, gathered by Brett Stewart, he then offloads to Ben Kennedy who scores under the posts. Conversion successful from Luke Williamson. Eels 40-16
75 min: TRY-Sea Eagles 2 tries to Ben Kennedy in as many minutes. The scoreboard now does not reflect the nature of this game at all. Conversion is successful from Williamson. Eels 40-22
78 min: TRY-Eels Yet another try scored from a kick. John Morris puts the kick up, Tahu bats the ball down to Adam Peek who just falls over the tryline. Conversion successful from Luke Burt. 46-22
FULL TIME: Parramatta have ended Manly's season as expected, with a 46-22 victory at Parramatta Stadium. A great first half performance from the Eels, leading 28-0 at halftime. They took their foot off the accelerator in the second half but the game was well and truly over at halftime. ----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - T Smith (Eels) 2 - T Tahu (Eels) 1 - P Stringer (Eels) -----------------------------------------