Time to look ahead to Sunday's decider! Rob Crosby has a full look at both teams and what to expect ...
19 hours ago
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have climbed back into the NRL top 8 with a dominant performance over the struggling Cronulla Sharks, 24-4 at a Brookvale Oval. A poor crowd of 9,065 watched Manly down the Sharks as rain did falling pre-match could have turned away supporters.
Steve Matai racked up his fourth double of the season which started in quick fashion as the returning Jorge Taufua set up the centre for first Sea Eagles points. Manly made it, 6-0 after just 3 minutes.
Brenton Lawrence turned on the speed as the charging front rower sailed into a defensive hole courtesy of a miracle flick pass from Man of the Match, Brett Stewart. The Sea Eagles led 12-0 after 16 minutes.
In his first game back from injury Jorge Taufua made an impact as he crossed the line as a reward for his efforts. Mid-way through the first half the winger hit and spin his way over the try line as the Sharks defence failed to cover the attack from the Sea Eagles.
Just minutes later Taufua was denied his second four-pointer as he bolted 85 metres downfield after taking an intercept pass. However, the winger was chased down by the flying Sharks second-rower, Sam Tagataese.
The Sea Eagles closed out the first half as Steve Matai posted his second try after the afternoon to claim his 8th try of season 2014. Brett Stewart provided the short pass to send Matai over untouched in the western corner.
Manly headed into the sheds 20-0 leaders after a poor performance from the visiting Sharks.
The Sea Eagles went into cruise control in the second half as they rolled through their sets defending their points. Peta Hiku scored the only points of the second half for the home side as he kicked ahead a Brett Stewart offload to score Manly's fifth try of the afternoon.
Cronulla still out on their feet in season 2014 with injuries halting their efforts to make a dent on the competition. The Sharks cracked the maroon and white defence in the 80th minute as Wade Graham cleaned up loose ball in goal off a Jeff Robson cross field kick.
The Sea Eagles flying high again, redeeming themselves after being wiped off the park by Wests Tigers in Round 5. Next week the Sea Eagles head up the M1 to Gosford to host the Cowboys at Central Coast Stadium on Good Friday. Meanwhile the Cronulla Sharks head home to Remondis Stadium to face the struggling 2013 Premiers, the Sydney Roosters.
Welcome to Brookvale Oval - a bit of rain about today, so a heavy track will be interesting to observe. The visitors have a couple of changes - Jonathan Wright is OUT, replaced by Sosaia Feki. Tinarau Arona will start at lock with Chris Heighington dropping back to the interchange. Team changes for Manly to come.
We are minutes away from kick off here at Brookvale Oval, another down pour of rain as seen the crowd grab their umbrellas. Both teams about to exit the sheds.
Foran completes the first set for the Sea Eagles without issue, Gordon collects the ball and the Sharks have their first set deep in their own half.
2: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Steve Matai. Kick to come.
The Sea Eagles break open the western side Sharks defence as a brilliant pass from Jorge Taufua sees Steve Matai bolt down field 50 metres to score untouched.
7: Nathan Stapleton with a great catch takes the Foran cross field kick, just in the field of play means the Sharks begin their set 1 metre out from their own line.
7: Anthony Watmough is penalised for being offside, inside the 10 metres. Cronulla through Carney kick for touch and begin their set on halfway
8: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Andrew Fifita makes an unforced error.
Andrew Fifita trying to get play of the ball away, he pushed away from the tackle of Justin Horo and lost it cold. Scrum for the Sea Eagles on their own 30 metre line.
9: Forward pass is called as Jorge Taufua bolted down the sideline, but the pass called back. Scrum for Cronulla just shy of the half way line.
13: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Andrew Fifita makes an unforced error.
Andrew Fifita coming up with a knock on as he went to ground, unable to hold onto the Steeden in the wet conditions. He has spilled the ball without rack in the ruck.
14: VIDEO REFEREE for the Sea Eagles, Brenton Lawrence as a TRY as he took a magical offload pass and strolled into a gap of the Sharks defence.
16: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Brenton Lawrence. Kick to come.
Brenton Lawrence has taken a miracle floating flick pass from Brett Stewart and sailed into a gap of the Sharks defence. Daly Cherry-Evans ruled not to have got fingers on the ball before going into the hands. Manly stroll through the line on the last tackle.
16: Penalty to the Sea Eagles in their set from the try, Cronulla ruled offside at the ruck. Kick for touch sees the Sea Eagles march up to 40 metres out from the Sharks line.
16: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Josh Starling makes an unforced error.
Josh Starling unable to hold the quick pass away from Foran and it's dropped by the charging forward. Zero tackle called for the Sharks just short of the halfway line.
17: Cronulla unable to come up with a play as the ball goes to ground, Matt Ballin dives on the ball. Manly with possession deep in their own half
18: Brett Stewart grubbers through the Sharks defence on the last tackle seeing the fullback out of position. Jamie Lyon chases through but the Sharks knock the ball dead. Line drop out for Cronulla to give the Manly side a repeat set.
18: Wade Graham comes off for the Sharks while the line drop out comes out, possible concussion.
18: Anthony Watmough draws a penalty as the Sharks strip the ball out of the ruck. Manly attack 10 metres out from the Sharks try line.
19: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Sosaia Feki makes an unforced error.
Sosaia Feki unable to take the chip kick from Cherry-Evans. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres out from the Sharks line.
21: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Jorge Taufua. Kick to come.
Jorge Taufua hits and spins his way over the goal line as he took a beautiful long pass from Brett Stewart. The Sea Eagles drew the Sharks defence in and the defence compressed to let in the try in the western corner.
24: Penalty is awarded to the Sharks for a strip in the ruck against Watmough. Kick from Todd Carney sees Cronulla march up to the 30 metre line
25: VIDEO REFEREE for the Sea Eagles, we have a TRY for Peta Hiku. An incredible play from Manly. Looking at the grounding.
25: NO TRY is awarded to Peta Hiku as he dropped the ball over the goal line. Scrum feed for the Sea Eagles. However, in the lead up play it was a brilliant chase from Sam Tagataese who chased down a speedy Jorge Taufua who took an intercept and bolted 85 metres.
28: Kick from Foran is a magical one as the ball bounces just inside the sideline, scrum for the Sharks 20 metres off their own try line.
29: Tupou Sopoaga is penalised for a hand on the ball in the ruck after the held call. Manly attack from a touch finder, 30 metres off their own goal line.
31: Double knock on is ruled, scrum feed will go to Manly and they will have a set 20 metres out
33: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Steve Matai. Kick to come.
Steve Matai claims his second try, it's his 4th double of 2014 and the 8th try of the year for the centre. A brilliant short pass from Brett Stewart sees the centre stroll over untouched as the Sharks defence fails to cover.
34: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Jamie Lyon with the conversion attempt from out wide on the western side again pushes it to the left of the posts.
36: Forward pass is called as Brenton Lawrence looked for another try, as Cherry-Evans throw a no look pass which was tipped on Foran. However, on replay it was okay and should have been play on.
39: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Brett Stewart makes an unforced error.
Brett Stewart almost coming up with a chip kick from Cherry-Evans, but the finger tips just get a touch. Sharks with the zero tackle on halfway
39: Penalty to the Sharks with 10 seconds left of the first half, Nathan Stapleton is dragged over the sideline after the held call.
40: HALF TIME at Brookvale Oval sees the Manly Sea Eagles lead the Cronulla Sharks 20-0 after a fiery half of football from the Sea Eagles
40: Second half is UNDERWAY here at Brookvale Oval, the rain has disappeared as the Sea Eagles kick off to get us started in the second forty minutes.
45: Glenn Stewart puts in a kick on the last tackle and it's too big. Zero tackle, 20 metre tap for the Cronulla Sharks
49: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Jorge Taufua makes an unforced error.
Jorge Taufua unable to get a hand on the pass as the long pass is put down. Scrum for the Sharks, however we have concern for Steve Matai for taking a knock to the head from Nathan Stapleton
50: Brett Stewart with a great take of the kick, however in his run to the 20 metre line is called back as Watmough was offside.
52: Forward pass is ruled as Todd Carney looked to link with Blake Ayshford. A ball call from the referees as the replay showed the ball thrown backwards, however scrum packs for Manly 40 metres out from the Sharks line.
53: VIDEO REFEREE for the Sea Eagles, we have a TRY for Peta Hiku. Looking at knock on and onside from a kick.
54: TRY MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Scored by Peta Hiku. Kick to come.
Peta Hiku gets the green lights as he managed to grubber ahead for himself as Brett Stewart offload to him, the loose pass is kicked forward to dive over in the western corner.
55: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon unsuccessful.
Jamie Lyon misses another conversion from the sideline as he pushes the kick across the face of the posts.
56: Scrum feed for the Sea Eagles as the Sharks make another error. Manly attack 30 metres out
57: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Glenn Stewart makes an unforced error.
Glenn Stewart has bobbled the ball out of acting half as he tried to pass from the play of the ball. Scrum for the Sharks 10 metres out from their own half.
59: Massive forward pass from Todd Carney is called as he tried to float a pass over the top of the Manly defence. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres short of the half way line.
61: Penalty to the Sharks as Chris Heighington was held down in the ruck. However the first play in the new set another penalty comes for a slow release of the tackle. Cronulla attack just 5 metres out
62: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Todd Carney makes an unforced error.
Todd Carney unable to hold the quick pass from Jeff Robson, the pass goes through the hands and it's dropped. Scrum for Manly 10 metres off their own line.
65: Ricky Leutele looking for an unmarked Feki on his outside but the pass is sent over the sideline. Manly defence left in a scramble but the cover is enough to stop the charge. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 25 metres out from their own line.
67: Kick from the Sea Eagles goes dead, tap for the Sharks on the 20 metre line.
68: Todd Carney puts the boot to the ball and the kick is defused in goal by Peat Hiku, a great take gives the Sea Eagles a zero tackle 20 metre restart.
69: Michael Gordon slides the Steeden over the sideline as he covers up a brilliant short grubber kick from Jamie Lyon, saved a try from Peta Hiku as he was flying down the wing. Scrum for the Sea Eagles 10 metres off the Sharks try line.
70: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Peta Hiku makes an unforced error.
Peta Hiku unable to take the tip on pass from Jamie Lyon and the ball is thrown into touch. Scrum for the Sharks deep in their own half.
72: Jeff Robson's kick is too big as it rolls dead. 20 metres tap for the Sea Eagles
73: Knock on from the Sharks from the scrum sees the Sea Eagles go back on the attack 10 metres short of the half line.
76: UNFORCED ERROR CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS
Michael Gordon makes an unforced error.
Michael Gordon unable to take the inside offload from Wade Graham. The execution from the Sharks has been terrible today.
78: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Kieran Foran makes an unforced error.
Foran unable to hold onto a pass as the Sea Eagles run a play through Steve Matai. Scrum for the Sharks deep in their own half.
79: UNFORCED ERROR MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES
Steve Matai makes an unforced error.
Jorge Taufua looked to go for a gallop down the sideline but the original jump for the kick is knocked down by Steve Matai. Scrum for Cronulla 10 metres out from the Manly try line.
80: VIDEO REFEREE for the Sharks, they could finally have a TRY! We have a TRY for Wade Graham. Looking at onside and ground here.