The Wests Tigers have failed to contain a sizzling Manly Sea Eagles team that put on a demolition in the second half to cruise to a 48-16 victory at ANZ Stadium, in the first Double Header match tonight.
The Tigers season has hit mathematical chance status as Manly put their upset loss to South Sydney behind them to silence their critics in emphatic style.
Manly opened the scoring in the 16th minute through Brett Stewart but towering frontrower Daine Laurie hit back immediately for the Tigers with his first touch of the football off the bench. Manly followed suit and provided their own rebuttal with a try to Michael Robertson in the corner and both teams then battled for ascendency throughout the first half.
The turning point came just two minutes before half time when the Tigers dropped the ball as they looked to score and paid the ultimate price a few plays later when Adam Cuthbertson offloaded for Steve Menzies to streak away for a four-pointer in the corner.
The Menzies try triggered the Sea Eagles into a frenzy in the second half as they demolised the Tigers to run in five tries in less then twenty-five minutes. The home side who were sporting the traditional Western Suburbs Magpies strip went missing in defence as they spent more time standing behind their goal posts then with the ball.
The Tigers grabbed a pair of tries in the last ten minutes through Daine Laurie who scored his second and Beau Ryan but it was too little, too late for Wests as they face Cronulla next week with only a mathematical chance of making the finals. The Sea Eagles however jump into first place for the time-being with the Storm to play the Panthers on Monday night.
In a dampener for Manly Luke Williamson came off in the second half with a hamstring injury.
Match Details Wests Tigers 16 def by Manly Sea Eagles 48 Round 24 - Saturday August 23rd, 2008 5:30pm Venue: ANZ Stadium Referee: Tony Archer Touch Judges: Steve Carrall, Jeff Younis Video Referee: Chris Ward Halftime: Sea Eagles 16-6 Crowd (Double Header): 27,564
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Steve Menzies (Sea Eagles) 2 Points: Glenn Hall (Sea Eagles) 1 Point: Matt Orford (Sea Eagles)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Hello and welcome to tonight's coverage of the clash between the Wests Tigers and the Manly Sea Eagles at ANZ Stadium. This is a must win game for the home side as they enter the match in 12th place. If they can topple 2nd placed Manly they can sneak into the Top 8 and give their prospective finals hopes a huge boost. For Manly they will be looking to prove their premiership credentials after their shock loss to South Sydney last week.
Only one team change for this game with Tigers front rower Keith Galloway ruled out meaning Ryan O'Hara comes off the bench to start. Big Daine Laurie comes onto the bench.
Following this change the teams will line-up as such: