Sea Eagles swoop over timid Tigers

A ground record-equalling crowd of 20059 fans at Bluetongue Stadium have been on hand to witness a comprehensive 38-20 victory by the Manly Sea Eagles over the Wests Tigers which sees the Eagles swoop into the top four, for the time being at least.

The first 15 minutes of the match were tough and torrid, with both sides defending very well and completing their sets. Finally, after having the vast majority of field position and possession, the Tigers cracked the Manly defence through Chris Heighington in the 16th minute. Tigers hooker Robbie Farah darted out of dummy half before delivering a pin-point kick out wide which was batted back and Heighington was on the spot to pick up the ball and dive over, despite replays indicating he may have been offside. Manly hit back almost immediately when they were on the receiving end of a dubious call that went their way. Anthony Watmough appeared to charge Benji Marshall's kick down, but after Daniel Fitzhenry dived on the ball, the Tigers were ordered to hand the ball over. That would appear to be the last time the Tigers handled the ball in a 10-minute tryscoring blitz from the Eagles saw them race to an 18-8 lead after tries to Shane Rodney, Kieran Foran and Jamie Lyon, combined with some ordinary Tigers defence. The first half ended in spiteful fashion when Manly centre Steve Matai was originally put on report for a high tackle on Tigers hooker Robbie Farah. After being penalised, Matai walked over to Farah who was lying on the ground and appeared to give him a push in the back, which sparked a bit more push and shove from both teams. Referee Shayne Hayne then had no option but to send Matai to the sin-bin. The Tigers took advantage of the extra man and closed the gap to a converted try when halfback Robert Lui juggled the ball before diving over out wide. The final points of the half came on the stroke of halftime, when Glenn Stewart capitalised on a Tigers knock-on from the third tackle off the restart. Manly showed some razzle dazzle which started with a cross-field kick being batted back by Michael Robertson, before five-eighth Kieran Foran drifted across field before finding Stewart out wide to restore Manly's 12-point buffer at the break.

The second half started in the right fashion for the Tigers through centre Blake Ayshford. After appearing to be devoid of ideas in the set of six leading up to Ayshford's try, Benji Marshall fired a perfect pass on the last tackle which sent the centre over out wide. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Jamie Lyon put the result beyond any doubt when he crossed alongside the posts, grabbing the ball brilliantly out of the air from a pin-point kick off Foran. The Tigers refused to acknowledge the game was over and Lote Tuqiri gave their fans hope of a comeback when he muscled his way over the top of three Manly defenders to score in the corner. A further try to fullback Ben Farrar, latching onto a pass from Brent Kite and a penalty goal to Jamie Lyon secured the two-competition points for the Sea Eagles.

Next week, Manly tackle the out-of-form Knights on Monday night at EnergyAustralia Stadium, while the Tigers will look to bounce back when they host the Sharks.

Match Details
Manly Sea Eagles 38 defeated Wests Tigers 20
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 20 - Sunday July 25, 2010 3:00pm
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Gerard Sutton
Video Referee: Steve Clark
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Steve Carrall
Crowd: 20059
Halftime: Manly Sea Eagles 24 Wests Tigers 12 players of the match:
3 Points - Kieran Foran (1 Try)
2 Points - Shane Rodney (1 Try)
1 Point - Jamie Lyon (2 Tries, 6 Conversions, 1 Penalty Goal)

Tries: Glenn Stewart, Jamie Lyon (2), Shane Rodney, Ben Farrar, Kieran Foran
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (6/6)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)

Tries: Chris Heighington, Blake Ayshford, Robert Lui, Lote Tuqiri
Conversions: Benji Marshall (1/4)
Penalty Goals: Benji Marshall (1/1) Live Commentary And welcome here to Bluetongue Stadium on the Central Coast for this afternoon's encounter between the Manly Sea Eagles and the Wests Tigers. In team news, the Tigers have suffered a double blow, with Gareth Ellis not named in the side earlier in the week, while Wade McKinnon has been ruled out. Daniel Fitzhenry will switch to fullback and Andrew Fifita comes onto the bench. Manly appear as though they will be as per program.
In the Toyota Cup, Manly have run out victors 24-20 in an entertaining, see-sawing encounter. Kick-off for First Grade will be a little after 3pm. Join me for all the action then.
Manly will defend the southern end of Bluetongue Stadium, but the Tigers have first use of the ball.
1 min: Some enterprising play by the Tigers as they shifted the ball towards the touchline and Tuqiri raced away, before delivering a kick back infield which dribbled across the deadball line.
3 min: PENALTY Tigers. Manly markers getting involved in the ruck.
3 min: Fitzhenry has knocked the ball on after a big hit from Matai off a pass from Marshall. Manly will feed a scrum 12m short of halfway.
4 min: PENALTY Tigers. First penalty in a long time awarded against a team in possession! Watmough walked off the mark and was subsequently penalised.
6 min: The Tigers have run the ball on the fifth tackle, but a disappointing pass from Benji has sailed over the sideline.
7 min: Another disappointing last-tackle option, this time by the Eagles five-eighth Foran. The kick goes over the deadball line and the Tigers now have a 20m tap restart.
8 min: Farah's great kick on the fourth tackle is perfectly weighted into the in-goal where Tuqiri's chase made the kick even better, by forcing Farrar in-goal.
9 min: PENALTY Tigers. Eagles penalised for being offside. The players have exchanged a few pleasantries with both teams racing in. A lot of push and shove, but nothing else.
Penalty goal attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Marshall registers first points of the afternoon by successfully potting a 20 metre penalty goal.
Wests Tigers 2-0
12 min: PENALTY Tigers. Again, the Tigers gain a penalty for the Eagles ill-discipline. A bit more push and shove after the event. The Tigers again go on the attack.
14 min: Some more good play from the Tigers has gotten another repeat set of six after the grubber in-goal is batted over the deadball line.
16 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Tigers try. Checking the contest of the ball from the bomb, the on-side and grounding.
16 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Chris Heighington. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall successful.
Heighington scores the first try of the match, finally taking advantage of all the field position and possession the Tigers have had. Replays indicate the Tigers may be slightly lucky to be awarded the try, after the possibility of players being offside from the kick.
Wests Tigers 8-0
18 min: Watmough has appeared to charge the ball down from Marshall's clearing kick on the fifth tackle, but the referees have ruled he didn't play at the ball. Manly go on the attack.
19 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Shane Rodney. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Some weak goal-line defence from the Tigers has seen the Eagles hit straight back through Shane Rodney, taking full advantage of a lucky decision from the charge-down.
Wests Tigers 8-6
22 min: Ballin's kick from dummy half has just rolled over the deadball line. Tigers with a 20 metre restart.
22 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. The Manly side finally get their first penalty of the match after the Tigers are ruled to take too long to peel off the tackled player.
24 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Kieran Foran. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
And Manly have hit the front through Kieran Foran! A short-side raid has seen Matai go straight through a very ordinary attempted tackle by Ayshford and Foran supported Matai to score under the posts.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-8
26 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Tigers offside.
27 min: Some good play from the Manly side has seen them force a drop-out after Hodkinson's grubber into the in-goal is taken over the dead-ball line by Marshall.
29 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Jamie Lyon. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Manly are in again! Hodkinson has drifted across-field and the Tigers defenders have held off before the halfback delivers a perfect pass on the outside to Lyon who races into a huge hole to score out wide.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-8
31 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Gibbs penalised for being inside the 10 and the maroon and white tidal wave will continue.
32 min: Foran's crossfield kick has been gratefully accepted by Brown and the Tigers will finally get their hands on the ball after being starved of it for the last 10 minutes or so.
34 min: Some razzle-dazzle footy from the Tigers has resulted in a looping pass from Farah going into the first-row of the grandstand. Farah is down in back-play after being hit just after he passed the ball.
34 min: PENALTY Tigers. Matai has been penalised for the high-tackle on Farah and been subsequently put on report. Matai has sparked another all-in-brawl.
35 min: SIN BIN
Steve Matai is sent to the sin bin.
Matai has been sin-binned after sparking the all-in-brawl, although there weren't too many punches thrown.
36 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Robert Lui. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
Lui has juggled the ball, but the Manly defence has stood still and watched! The Tigers take advantage of the extra player to close the gap in the shadows of halftime.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-12
38 min: Farah's pass from dummy half has been knocked on, and Manly will again try to extend their lead in the lead-up to halftime.
40 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Glenn Stewart. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
With less than a minute left on the clock until halftime, Manly are in again! Some razzle-dazzle play from the Eagles and some more flimsy defence by the Tigers. It was all sparked by Foran, who passed on the outside to Stewart who dived over out wide
Manly Sea Eagles 24-12
40 min: And we're underway in the second half where the Eagles will have first use of the ball.
40 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Dwyer penalised for taking too long getting off the tackled player.
43 min: Farah's kick on the last has gone over the deadball line. 20m restart for the Eagles.
45 min: Some good play from the Tigers on the last has seen them feed a scrum 10m out from the Manly line after the ball was kicked across the sideline by Farrar.
46 min: PENALTY Tigers. Manly penalised for raking the ball in the tackle.
48 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Blake Ayshford. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
The Tigers, despite offering nothing in attack for five tackles, run the ball on the last and a great pass from Marshall hits Ayshford on the chest. Ayshford then throws a dummy on the outside and dives over in the north-western corner.
Manly Sea Eagles 24-16
52 min: Foran's kick has been brilliantly taken by Tuqiri, but unfortunately for the Tigers, he has dropped the ball in the in-goal and the Eagles will go on the attack again.
53 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Manly try. Checking onside and grounding.
54 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Jamie Lyon. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Lyon has climbed above the pack and picked the ball out of the air from a pin-point cross-field kick off Foran! He then twisted and pushed and finally put the ball down alongside the posts.
Manly Sea Eagles 30-16
58 min: PENALTY Tigers. Sea Eagles offside.
58 min: PENALTY Tigers. Eagles penalised for a "facial".
60 min: PENALTY Tigers. Watmough penalised for being too aggressive in the tackle. Watmough warned that he'll be sitting down if another offence occurs.
60 min: TRY
TRY Wests Tigers
Scored by Lote Tuqiri. Conversion attempt by Benji Marshall unsuccessful.
Tuqiri scores another try for the Tigers! They aren't dead just yet and a great pass from Lawrence sent Tuqiri down the sideline before he muscled his way over the top of several Manly defenders to score out wide.
Manly Sea Eagles 30-20
63 min: Hodkinson has knocked the ball on on the last tackle and they're offering a few chances for the Tigers here.
63 min: The Tigers have knocked the ball on through Liam Fulton and the Eagles breathe a little easier and hang onto their 10-point lead for now.
64 min: The crowd figure has been posted and the record of 20,059 has been matched on a glorious, sunny Sunday afternoon here in Gosford.
67 min: TRY
TRY Manly Sea Eagles
Scored by Ben Farrar. Conversion attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
A great pass from Brent Kite has sent fullback Ben Farrar over underneath the posts! The Eagles have finally put the Tigers to bed and will now swoop into the top four after today.
Manly Sea Eagles 36-20
72 min: PENALTY Sea Eagles. Tigers penalised for taking too long to get off the tackled player.
PENALTY GOAL Manly Sea Eagles
Penalty goal attempt by Jamie Lyon successful.
Lyon extends the Sea Eagles lead out to three-converted tries and continues his perfect day with the boot.
Manly Sea Eagles 38-20
75 min: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Manly try.
75 min: No Try. Some enterprising play from the Eagles has not culminated in a try with Mitch Brown from the Tigers taking Robertson into touch after a chip-kick from Foran found the flying winger.
77 min: The game now is screeching to a halt with both sides knocking the ball on as they realise the result is a foregone conclusion.
79 min: Goal-line dropout Tigers. The Tigers won't be in any rush to get the match back underway going into the final minute.
80 min: Fulltime here at Bluetongue Stadium where the Manly Sea Eagles have run out victors 38-20 over a disappointing Tigers outfit.

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