Sea Eagles outclass brave Sharks

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have accounted for a valiant Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks outfit this afternoon, taking out the match 25-18 in front of more than 17,000 at Brookvale.

Manly controlled proceedings early, racing to a 16-0 lead. Justin Horo struck first for the hosts, running off a superb Kieran Foran short-ball to cross out wide. Jamie Lyon's radar was off for the early try, but returned with two subsquent efforts as the Sea Eagles added further points through Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Symonds.

Cronulla's first points came completely against the run of play, Nathan Stapleton plucking a Foran cross-field kick out of the air on his own line and sprinting the length of the field to get the visitors on the board. Manly held a 16-6 lead through to halftime.

The Sharks' resurgence continued after the break, Stapleton scoring his second with a narrow passage down the left sideline. Gordon's successful conversions of both Cronulla tries meaning the visitors were just four points behind.

Manly then proceeded to step-up with the game on the line, first Brett Stewart looked like he was about to score, but the ball to him from Peta Hiku in the lead-up was ruled forward. Stewart and Hiku got their own back on the officials with a legitimate try a few minutes later, which Steve Matai then followed up. Lyon missed both conversion attempts, keeping the Sharks within 12 points.

This was Cronulla's cue to hit back, and they did so through Stewart Mills following some good draw-and-pass work by Ben Pomeroy. Townsend continued Gordon's earlier good work with the boot and the gap was reduced to six. It wasn't to be for the Sharks though, Cherry-Evans potting a field-goal five minutes from time to put his side seven points clear and secure the two points.

With the representative round ahead next week, both sides will get a rest, with the Sea Eagles returning to action on Friday week at Brookvale against the Rabbitohs. Cronulla have a home game in the NSW Central Coast city of Gosford, hosting the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs at Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium on Sunday April 28.

Match Details
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 25 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Crowd: 17,504
Halftime Score: Sea Eagles 14-4 Players of the Match:
3 points - Kieran Foran
2 points - Daly Cherry-Evans
1 point - Nathan Stapleton

Tries: Justin Horo, Daly Cherry-Evans, Tom Symonds, Peta Hiku, Steve Matai
Field Goals: Daly Cherry-Evans (1/1)
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (2/5)

Tries: Nathan Stapleton (2), Stewart Mills
Conversions: Michael Gordon (2/2), Chad Townsend (1/1) Live Commentary

TEAM NEWS - Manly lose David Williams, he's replaced by Peta Hiku. Cronulla no omissions, just a straight swap with Wade Graham to the bench and Chris Heighington to start in the second row.

Sea Eagles: 1. Brett Stewart 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Tom Symonds
Interchange: 14. Richie Fa'aoso 15. Joe Galuvao 16. Jamie Buhrer 17. Jason King

Sharks: 1. Michael Gordon 2. Nathan Stapleton 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Stewart Mills 5. Beau Ryan 6. Chad Townsend 7. Jeff Robson 8. Andrew Fifita 9. John Morris 10. Ben Ross 11. Luke Lewis 14. Chris Heighington 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 12. Wade Graham 15. Jayson Bukuya 16. Isaac De Gois 17. Anthony Tupou
Heritage Round resumes for Sunday footy at Brookvale - a huge one for the Sharks who are floundering after a promising start. Manly will be keen to keep pace with Melbourne and South Sydney, and as such are deserved favourites.
The teams today play for the Steve Rogers Cup. Cronulla going through their final warm-up, wearing their traditional blue & white and black hoops shirt with CSFC emblazoned across the front. Manly are getting their last pre-match words from coach Geoff Toovey, their jerseys today a variation of their regular maroon strip with the names of all players on the stomach, and all the versions of their club logo across the sleeves and on the back of the strip.
1 min: KICKOFF - we are underway at Brookvale. Cronulla with the ball first.
3 min: First penalty goes Manly's way, Andrew Fifita flopping in the tackle. Sea Eagles start the set 30m from Cronulla's line.
4 min: Second penalty, Luke Lewis too long in the play-the-ball. Manly right on the line now.
Scored by Justin Horo. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Beautiful short-passing from Kieran Foran finds Horo, he hits a hole on the left side and goes over almost untouched. Lyon's conversion attempt just goes wide.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 4-0
8 min: Sharks bomb for Taufua but with no chasers pressuring him, it's an easy take on his own 10m line.
10 min: Same ending to a set, although to Hiku's wing this time - but the same result. The young winger takes it unchallenged, Manly now rolling up the park again.
12 min: Cronulla defending deep in their own half, they knock it down, it's a Manly scrum 10m out. Lots of defending early for the visitors.
13 min: Plenty of great runs at the line, both Horo and Brenton Lawrence coming within metres... but they go up the middle and it's dropped by Watmough.
18 min: VIDEO REFEREE - possible Manly try to Daly Cherry Evans, he's plucked it from Michael Gordon's grasp in a bomb contest. Looks okay...
Scored by Daly Cherry-Evans. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
The try is awarded, Cherry-Evans has done well to grab it from the contest with Gordon and goes over untouched. Lyon converts.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 10-0
Scored by Tom Symonds. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Symonds powers over the Sea Eagles! Jamie Lyon adds the extras and it's already looking daunting for the Sharkies!
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16-0
27 min: Superb follow-up set from the Sea Eagles, they put in a long range kick which forces Michael Gordon to bat it dead, he does so despite Cherry-Evans bearing down on him.
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Foran with a cross-field kick on the last for the Sea Eagles... Stapleton plucks it out of the air and HE'S AWAY! They won't catch him, try as they might... the Sharks are on the board. Gordon converts.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16-6
32 min: First Sharks penalty of the afternoon, Fa'aoso rakes it from Paul Gallen's arms. Cronulla's set starts 20m from the Manly line.
33 min: Another penalty right in front for Cronulla. Big chance again here.
35 min: Cronulla spill it despite two chances at the Manly line.
37 min: Cronulla find themselves right on Manly's line again, fifth tackle option finishes with DCE picking it up, it looks like Tupou's kneed him in the back, then reefed the ball from him and tried to score. It's a Manly penalty for a strip after being held.
39 min: Cronulla with the ball near Manly's line again, this time Manly knock it down. Sharks scrum. 2nd tackle, penalty Sharks. Lots of possession with little to show so far though...
40 min: Pomeroy goes over in the corner, he appears to have bounced the ball - the ref calls it that way without going upstairs - and he's spot on.
40 min: HALFTIME at Brookvale - the Sea Eagles have sustained great pressure from the Sharks to take a 16-6 lead to the break.
41 min: Second half underway. Manly with it running right to left.
Scored by Nathan Stapleton. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
Stapleton with a double! He somehow tiptoes along the touchline to find space on the left side and Cronulla have their second. Gordon edges the conversion just inside the uprights to reduce the margin to four.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 16-12
52 min: Penalty to Cronulla right in front of Manly's line - Brett Stewart taking exception to the referee's decision too audibly, he's pinged for dissent.
54 min: Peta Hiku with a great break down the right touchline, he tosses it in-field for Stewart... Maxwell rules it forward! Stewart is visibly angry about the call - replay is touch-and-go.
Scored by Peta Hiku. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Stewart finds space on the outside and Hiku runs wide support perfectly to take the offload and score a try on debut. Lyon misses.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-12
62 min: A clever DCE grubber forces a line drop-out from the Sharks.
Scored by Steve Matai. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Matai lurks around the back of a high-ball contest, the ball falls for him and he'll score in the corner. Lyon with another failed attempt at conversion.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-12
68 min: Cronulla with a good chance at hitting back here, they've got the ball near Manly's line. A try would get them back in it.
70 min: More attack for Cronulla after unsuccessful attempt previous...
Scored by Stewart Mills. Conversion attempt by Michael Gordon successful.
HOW did he do that? Pomeroy draws two defenders out wide and somehow finds Mills who SOMEHOW stays in. Townsend takes over kicking duties and from the sideline - he's nailed it!
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 24-18
Field goal attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans successful.
Daly Cherry-Evans gets himself centre-field, 15m out, and drills the one-pointer. Hard to come back from that for Cronulla now.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 25-18
76 min: Cronulla with repeat sets on the Manly line.... Matai finds an intercept though and runs 20m before being dragged down.
77 min: Manly now looking to wind down play, kicking for the touchline with three remaining. Sharks scrum on their own 20m line.
79 min: Manly with a penalty on their own 40m to move them forward late in this one.
80 min: Late error from Manly means the Sharks will finish the game with the ball.
80 min: That'll do us at Brookvale, Manly hold on against an impressive Sharks outfit, the home side just too classy when it mattered. 25-18 fulltime to the Sea Eagles.