FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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The Storm got away to handy start to lead 6-0 after just two minutes and looked set to add more points.
But the Sea Eagles struck back with three unanswered tries before the Storm's Cooper Cronk scored in the 39th minute to put the visitors back in the match. At half time, Manly held an 18-12 lead.
The second half saw a number of missed opportunities for both sides before Melbourne were able to level the scores at 18-all with 18 minutes to go.
A try to Manly full back Brett Stewart in the 65th minute saw the home side regain the lead. Half back Michael Monaghan then proceeded to take his chances with repeat attempts at field goal before one finally found its mark in the 78th minute.
Scorers: SEA EAGLES 25 Tries: D Heckenberg, C Randall, S Dunley, B.Stewart Goals: M Witt 4/4 Field Goal: M Monaghan STORM 18 Tries: S Bell, C Cronk, B Slater Goals: C Smith 3/3
Brookvale Oval Referee: Stephen Clark
By the clock: Beautiful weather at Brookvale oval today for the top of the table clash .Both teams are undefeated after two rounds. The Storm have been in great form racking up big scores in their first two matches and will go into todays match as favourites. But expect a tight match as the Sea Eagles always lift when playing at home.
0 min: Play underway. Storm kicking off
2 Min: TRY - Storm Poor defence from the Sea Eagles as Scott Hill turns the ball inside to Stephen Bell who scores an easy try Conversion successful from Cameron smith Storm 6-0
8th Min: News - Storm nearly score again after Slater gathers in a grubber but can't get the ball down in time and goes over the dead ball line.
11 Min: TRY - Sea Eagles Daniel Heckenberg scores for the Sea Eagles as they get 3 penalties in a row and the Storm can't hold them out. Conversion successful from Michael Witt Sea Eagles 6-6
16th Min: News - End to end stuff as both teams are throwing the ball around. Sea Eagles are starting to look good after a shaky start
18th Min: News -Billy Slater makes a break from his own line and only had the fullback to beat and tried to kick ahead but had an air swing and knocked the ball on.
21th Min: News - Sea Eagles blow a try after the last pass goes into touch.
23 min: TRY - Sea Eagles Chad Randall ducks out from dummy half from close range and scores after the Sea Eagles had back to back sets of six after another penalty. Conversion successful from Michael witt Sea Eagles 12-6
26th Min: News - Penalty count 6-1 in favour of the Sea Eagles. The Storm are looking bit flat and the Sea Eagles are starting to get a roll on.
29th Min: News - Storm get a relieving penalty right on their line after a flop tackle from the Sea Eagles
33 Min: News - Scott Hill in the blood bin after a head clash with Michael Monaghan.
35 Min: TRY - Sea Eagles Shane Dunley scores after a grubber kick from Monaghan gets a rebound off a Storm player and bounces into Dunleys hand to score next to the post. Conversion successful from Michael Witt Sea Eagles 18-6
38th Min: News- Storm get a repeat set of six after a grubber kick into the in goal from Cameron Smith.
39th Min: TRY - Storm Storm get a much needed try from Cooper Cronk right on half time after being tackled close to the line and the momentum takes him onto the tryline. Conversion successful from Cameron Smith Sea Eagles 18-12
The Storm got off to a great start after scoring in the second minute and coming close to scoring again shortly after but it's been all the Sea Eagles for the majority of the first half. The Sea Eagles have shown lots of enthusiasm to outplay the Storm who have looked ordinary at stages and are lucky to be trailling by only six points. They will need to improve their ball control and also their kicking game. Will the late try by the Storm be the spur they need to get back into the game or will the Sea Eagles continue to outplay their more fancied rivals. Stay tuned for the second half.
Michael Witt kicks off and the second half is underway
45th Min: News - Storm looked like scoring but Matt King knocks on and Matai picks the ball up and runs down the field and the Sea Eagles looked dangerous before they also knock on. A fiery start to the second half.
51st Min: News - Both teams making plenty of opportunities in the second half but ball control is costing them.
55th Min: News - Storm blow a great opportunity after receiving a penalty on the Sea Eagles line after an obstruction but drop the ball on the third tackle and let the Sea Eagles off the hook.
61st Min: News - off to the Video ref for a possible try to the Sea Eagles. NO TRY - knocked on in goal from Stewart - 20 metre restart to the Storm.
62nd Min: TRY - Storm Billy Slater scores a great try after a perfect kick from Orford and Slater sprints through to take the ball and dive over to score next to the post Conversion successful from Cameron Smith. Sea Eagles 18-18
65th Min: TRY - Sea Eagles Sea Eagles hit straight back after they get a lucky rebound from a grubber kick from Monaghan and they spread the ball wide and Brett Stewart scores. Conversion successful from Michael Witt Sea Eagles 24-18.
68th Min: News- Sea Eagles turn the ball over straight away after a forward pass. Storm in possession in a good position.
72m Min: News - Storm blow another opportunity after they go into touch on the third tackle. Great defence from the Sea Eagles.
76th Min: News - An unsuccessful field goal attempt from Michael Monaghan.
78th Min: FIELD GOAL- Sea Eagles A great field goal from Michael Monaghan from 30 metres out to ensure the Sea Eagles the win.
FULLTIME... Victory for the Sea Eagles...
A thoroughly deserved victory for the Sea Eagles who are now on top of the table after 3 straight wins. The Sea Eagles defence really stood the test in the second half after the Storm threw everything at them in the last 15 minutes but struggled to get the ball over the tryline. Anthony Watmough stood out for the Sea Eagles with a tireless display in defence and attack. Matt Geyer never stopped trying for the Storm and was a handful for the Sea Eagles defence everytime he touched the ball, while Michael Monaghan got the Sea Eagles attack going forward all day. Well done to the Sea Eagles who set up their victory in the first half and will enjoy the bye next week.
----------------------------------------- Leagueunlimited.com players of the match: 3 - A Watmough (Sea Eagles) 2 - M Geyer (Storm) 1 - M Monaghan (Sea Eagles) -----------------------------------------