Sea Eagles soar past rudderless Raiders

The Manly Sea Eagles have continued the Canberra Raiders miserable season, with a 20-0 shutout in front of 6148 hardy fans at Brookvale Oval tonight.

The match started in torrential rain and the Sea Eagles got off to the worst possible start when fullback Brett Stewart, making his first appearance in five weeks, knocked the kick off on. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they couldn't make the home side pay and despite having the vast majority of possession and field position in the opening 20 minutes, the Raiders found themselves conceding first points. Halfback Daly Cherry-Evans dummied and crawled through the Raiders defence, before regaining his feet. With Stewart looming up in support on his inside, he couldn't quite position the fullback and took the tackle. From the ensuing play-the-ball, halves partner and New Zealand international Kieran Foran weighted a perfect chip kick onto the chest of winger Michael Robertson. Canberra winger Blake Ferguson did his best to bat the ball over the deadball line, but Robertson juggled the ball before putting it down out near the western sideline. Just five minutes later, fullback Stewart linked up with Foran and registered his near-certain four-pointer which appears to accompany him every time he plays at Brookvale. Foran directed the play, pulling the tired Canberra defence across, before delivering a perfect inside pass for Stewart who strolled over alongside the posts. Cherry-Evans conversion extended the Sea Eagles lead to double digits and it would stay that way until halftime, despite the Raiders having countless opportunities to cross the Sea Eagles defence, the home side's goal-line defence held firm.

Any chance of a Raiders revival was put beyond doubt just six minutes into the second half through none other than Brett Stewart. With the Eagles perhaps the beneficiaries of a six-again ruling by the referees, they marched up the field and at the completion of the set, Glenn Stewart combined with Jamie Lyon to send the centre into space, before he delivered a pass to youngster William Hopoate who drew winger Blake Ferguson and sent the Prince of Brookvale on an unimpeded run to the tryline, racking up his 100th career try in the process. Stewart completed his hat-trick in the 65th minute after Manly appeared certain to score, if not for a hand by Ferguson repelled that attacking opportunity. However, it would only delay the inevitable, as straight after the scrum, halves Cherry-Evans and Foran combined to put Hopoate on the outside of his man, before giving the final pass to Stewart who beat Ferguson in the race to the corner post, sliding over much to the delight of the Brookvale faithful who turned up on a cold, wet and windy night on the northern beaches. The game then ground to a halt as both sides exchanged errors as the wet conditions took their toll.

Next week, the Sea Eagles travel to Skilled Park next Monday night for a showdown with the Titans, while for the Raiders it doesn't get any easier as they travel to AAMI Park to face the Storm next Saturday evening.

Match Details
Manly Sea Eagles 20 defeated Canberra Raiders 0
National Rugby League - Round 9 - Monday May 9, 2011 7:00pm
Venue: Brookvale Oval
Referee: Tony Archer and Steve Lyons
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Jason Walsh and Steve Chiddy
Crowd: 6148
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 10 Canberra Raiders 0 players of the match:
3 Points - Kieran Foran
2 Points - Brett Stewart (3 Tries)
1 Point - Daly Cherry-Evans (2 Conversions)

Tries: Brett Stewart (3), Michael Robertson
Conversions: Daly Cherry-Evans (2/4)

CANBERRA RAIDERS (0) Live Commentary A very good evening and welcome to a cool and at times wet, Brookvale Oval on the northern beaches of Sydney for tonight's round 9 encounter between the Sea Eagles and Raiders. In team news, Jason King is out for Manly and George Rose will come off the bench and into the run-on side. Jamie Buhrer and Joe Galuvao swap places with Buhrer to start and Galuvao dropping back to the bench. Tim Robinson claims the final spot on Manly coach Des Hasler's bench. For the Raiders, a huge blow to their chances tonight, with fullback Josh Dugan ruled out after Friday night's City-Country encounter and he will be replaced by Nathan Massey. Tom Learoyd-Lahrs is also another casualty from the City-Country match and Sam Mataora comes into David Furner's 17-man squad.
Kick-off is scheduled for a little after 7.05pm. Join the LeagueUnlimited team then. And in the Toyota Cup curtain raiser, in the shadows of fulltime, the Raiders have this one in control, leading the Sea Eagles 52-20.
Fulltime in the Toyota Cup and the Raiders have landed the first blow between the two sides with a resounding 58-20 victory.
1 min: And the rain starts to fall rather heavily as the Raiders get us underway here tonight.
1 min: Stewart knocks on from the kick-off!
2 min: Orford trickles a grubber into the in-goal which is batted over the touch in-goal line by Hopoate. Goal line dropout Eagles.
3 min: Orford chips towards the wing of Ferguson, but the winger cannot get a handle on the ball and the Eagles defence holds firm for now.
5 min: McCrone puts a kick into the corner, and the Eagles will again work the ball off their own line.
6 min: Watmough drops the ball in a solid two-man Raiders tackle. Harrison and Tongue with the play for the Raiders, forcing the error.
8 min: PENALTY Raiders. Foran ruled to have had a hand on the ball on tackle five, slowing the play the ball down.
9 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Manly's goal-line defence again repels the Raiders and Orford's kick is caught by Watmough, but the chasers were offside.
10 min: Foran's kick on the last tackle is caught by Massey in the in-goal and the fullback races back to the 20m line for a quick restart.
11 min: McCrone's kick again forces the Eagles to work the ball off their own line and Stewart and Ferguson exchange pleasantries after Ferguson collected Stewart high.
12 min: Cherry-Evans kick on the last tackle finds touch just inside the corner post. Raiders scrum.
15 min: Thompson knocks on with the line wide open! Ferguson chipped for himself down the sideline, before picking up the ball and drawing Stewart. The winger threw the ball back hoping for a teammate to be there, but Thompson couldn't pick up the slippery ball.
16 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Tilse going a bit high in the tackle on Matai.
17 min: Cherry-Evans goes straight through the Raiders defence, but can't position Stewart.
17 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Michael Robertson. Conversion attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans unsuccessful.
The Eagles open the scoring tonight! After Cherry-Evans held onto the ball, Foran received the ball at first receiver and his kick for Robertson was pinpoint with the winger taking the ball over his head as the rain continues to fall.
Manly Sea Eagles 4-0
20 min: Foran's kick again on the last for Robertson rolls into touch just in front of the Eagles winger, with Ferguson also doing well to shadow the ball over the sideline.
21 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Mataora, just on the park, is penalised for taking too long to get off the tackled player.
22 min: Robertson is on the end of a sweeping backline move, crossing over out wide, but the pass from Buhrer to the winger is ruled forward.
23 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. In backplay, Steve Matai is receiving attention after being taken out off the ball.
23 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Brett Stewart. Conversion attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans successful.
Brett Stewart racks up career try number 99 as he combines with Foran and slices through the sliding Raiders defence after Foran's inside ball finds his fullback at top speed.
Manly Sea Eagles 10-0
25 min: And the Eagles are away off the kick-off!
26 min: Buhrer knocks the ball on, but the Raiders can't take advantage of the broken play. Scrum Raiders.
27 min: PENALTY Raiders. Galuvao on the tackled player too long.
28 min: McCrone's kick on the last tackle is dived on by Foran, but the five-eighth knocks on. Raiders scrum.
30 min: Tongue's short pass is knocked on by Miller and the Eagles goal-line holds firm.
30 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Raiders breaking too early from the scrum.
31 min: Galuvao knocks the ball on on tackle two, with the Eagles having a deep backline set.
32 min: PENALTY Raiders. Eagles going back over the tackled player as he attempted to play the ball.
33 min: Orford's kick into the in-goal is batted over the deadball line by Robertson. Goal-line dropout Eagles.
35 min: Orford's kick is allowed to bounce by both sides, but Stewart can't hang onto the ball and knocks on.
36 min: The Raiders throw the ball around on the last tackle, but Tongue's kick goes over the deadball line.
37 min: The rain continues to fall torrentially, as Foran's kick rolls over the touchline.
38 min: The Raiders again knock the ball on through Mataora and with halftime approaching, the Eagles will get a good chance to extend this lead.
39 min: Robertson kicks for Stewart, but the fullback can't quite get his hands to force the ball.
40 min: Halftime here at Brookvale and the Eagles lead the Raiders 10-0.
40 min: And the second half is underway.
42 min: McCrone's kick on the last sees Hopoate pick up the ball off his own line and is hit in a solid three-man tackle.
42 min: PENALTY Raiders. Sea Eagles taking too long to climb off tackled player.
43 min: McCrone puts a kick into the in-goal and Hopoate is tackled before he can get back into the field of play.
44 min: Orford's pass is knocked on by Galea.
46 min: Manly are awarded six more tackles after it appeared they lost the ball.
46 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Brett Stewart. Conversion attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans successful.
Stewart racks up career try number 100! After being awarded six more tackles, the Eagles through Stewart, Lyon and Hopoate combine to send Stewart on a saloon passage to the tryline.
Manly Sea Eagles 16-0
49 min: Manly start to throw the ball around on tackle five, before Foran puts in a scrappy kick which is scooped up by Massey.
53 min: Foran hoists a towering bomb which is knocked on by Hopoate as he chased through.
55 min: Manly are away down the eastern touchline through Matai. The centre kicked back towards the posts, but Ferguson got back for the Raiders just in front of Stewart.
56 min: Scrappy play by the Eagles sees the Raiders try to scoop up the loose ball and knock it on.
58 min: Foran grubbers into the in-goal and Ferguson and Massey combine to knock the ball over the deadball line.
59 min: The Sea Eagles attempt to run a play through the hands, but the pass for Hopoate is behind the winger and goes over the sideline.
61 min: Orford tries something different, chip-kicking for Massey, but Hopoate is awake to the situation.
63 min: The Raiders knock on through Fensom.
64 min: Ferguson knocks on for the Raiders, but luckily for his side he managed to get a hand onto Hopoate's pass, otherwise the Eagles would have scored in the corner.
65 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Brett Stewart. Conversion attempt by Daly Cherry-Evans unsuccessful.
Stewart completes his hat-trick! Sweeping backline move sees plenty of players in motion, Cherry-Evans found Foran, who put Hopoate on the outside of his man, before he passed to Stewart who slid over just inside the corner.
Manly Sea Eagles 20-0
69 min: The Raiders run the ball through Massey who was hit in a solid tackle, with the fullback left with a bloodied nose.
71 min: Massey knocks on a bullet kick off Cherry-Evans.
73 min: Stewart's kick is cleaned up by Ferguson.
74 min: Orford's kick trickles towards the 20m line and while the kick would have been a 40/20, Hopoate and Robertson combine to keep possession for Manly.
75 min: Cherry-Evans chips for himself, but the Raiders defence smother the kick and Croker dives on the ball.
76 min: Orford slips over as he comes to the Manly defence, which sums up the Raiders night.
77 min: Watmough can't hang onto Cherry-Evans pass with numbers outside him.
78 min: Robertson leaps above Ferguson and keeps the Manly tryline in tact in the shadows of fulltime.
79 min: Williams forces the ball loose out of the Raiders hands and the Eagles look like they will complete the game in possession.
80 min: Fulltime here at Brookvale Oval and the Manly Sea Eagles have run out comfortable 20-0 victors over the Canberra Raiders.

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