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Tenacious Manly hold out Storm
A gutsy defensive effort at Etihad Stadium has seen the Manly Sea Eagles triumph 18-16 over a Melbourne Storm outfit that lost superstar Greg Inglis to an ankle injury before halftime.
Manly scored points early and then their defence did the rest, holding an uncharacteristically scrappy Storm to just two tries for the match.
In injury news, Queensland and Australian superstar Greg Inglis hobbled off the field in the first half with an ankle problem but the severity of his injury remains to be seen.
The visitors came out of the sheds all guns blazing and they drew first blood when Glenn Stewart cleaned up the scraps off a Kieran Foran kick.
Playing enthusiastic footy, Manly winger Michael Robertson then touched down for the next two tries off the back of some sweeping backline movements to increase the lead to 16-0.
But the Storm hit back in the 29th minute with a four-pointer to interchange prop Bryan Norrie, who dived over for his first NRL try off an inside pass from Brett Finch.
Melbourne then lost Inglis to an injury before a late penalty goal to Manly skipper Jamie Lyon gave his team a 18-6 advantage at the break.
The first 25 minutes of the second half produced no points until Storm halfback Cooper Cronk provided a spark, taking on the line to cross and reduce the deficit to 18-10.
Cronk then grabbed his double when he crashed through the line - the scoreboard read 18-16 to Manly with seven minutes to go - but some desperate Sea Eagles defence held the home team at bay in the dying stages.
The Storm will sweat on the fitness of Inglis and centre Dane Neilsen, who also left the field with a hand complaint. Melbourne have now lost two games in succession, while the Sea Eagles have won their past four.
Melbourne Storm 16 were defeated by Manly Sea Eagles 18
National Rugby League - NRL - Round 6 - Monday April 19, 2010 7:00pm
Venue: Etihad Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Alan Shortall
Video Referee: Bill Harrigan
Touch Judges: Russell Turner and David Munro
Halftime: Melbourne Storm 6 Manly Sea Eagles 18
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Kieran Foran
2 Points - Anthony Watmough
1 Point - Cooper Cronk (2 Tries)
Melbourne Storm (16)
Tries: Cooper Cronk (2), Bryan Norrie
Conversions: Cameron Smith (2/3)
Manly Sea Eagles (18)
Tries: Glenn Stewart, Michael Robertson (2)
Conversions: Jamie Lyon (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Lyon (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary The Melbourne Storm take on the Manly Sea Eagles in tonights game at Etihad Stadium. There have been some fiery clashes between these two sides over the past few seasons and I'm sure we're set for something similar this time.
The U20s went Manly's way 42-16, meaning they move up to second on the NYC ladder.
A few changes for both teams..
Storm: Ryan Hoffman returns from injury at lock pushing Ryan Hinchcliffe back to the bench. Hep Cahill misses out.
Sea Eagles: Brent Kite is out with suspension. He is replaced by debutant Jamie Buhrer.
1 min: Kick off! Melbourne get things underway.
2 min: Brett Finch kicks out on the full at the end of the Storm's first set.
4 min: TRY
Manly draw first blood! Keiran Foran boots it high towards the posts, Jamie Lyon knocks the ball back and Glenn Stewart picks up the scraps to score. Lyon converts.
Manly Sea Eagles 6-0
7 min: Procter looks to have made an error but Manly get penalised for a strip.
8 min: Greg Inglis brushes off some defenders, passes to Cronk who drops it close to the line.
10 min: Manly winger Tony Williams finds some space down the touch line but is pushed out. Good scrambling defence from both sides at the moment.
12 min: Video referee - possible Manly try..
12 min: TRY
A sweeping Sea Eagles backline movement results in a try to Robertson in the corner, who just managed to stay in the field of play. Lyon converts from the sideline.
Manly Sea Eagles 12-0
15 min: It's been an enthusiastic start from Manly, they're dominating field position.
16 min: Video referee - possible Manly try..
16 min: TRY
Michael Robertson has a double! Some quick passes find more space on the outside and Matai gets a good ball away out to Robertson in the corner. Lyon fails to convert.
Manly Sea Eagles 16-0
19 min: Manly again working the ball into Melbourne's half but Glenn Stewart releases pressure with a mistake.
21 min: Matai nearly breaks the line off a scrum.
23 min: Another knock on from the Storm, they're understandably rattled.
26 min: Cooper Cronk kicks for touch just to settle things down a bit for Melbourne.
29 min: TRY
Well Melbourne hit back. An inside pass from Brett Finch finds Bryan Norrie, who juggles but regathers in time to score the first try on his career. Smith converts.
Manly Sea Eagles 16-6
32 min: Ryan Hoffman gets hammered in a low tackle by Trent Hodkinson and knocks on.
33 min: But the Sea Eagles drop if off the next play thanks to a hit from Norrie.
34 min: Greg Inglis in trouble with an injury, his ankle got caught under the tackler. He's on his feet but he hobbles off the field.
34 min: Melbourne on the attack now thanks to two penalties in a row.
37 min: Cronk kicks to the wing, Robertson misses the ball and Luke MacDougall can't grab it either as it goes over the sideline.
40 min: PENALTY GOAL
Jame Lyon boots a penalty goal on halftime to increase the lead to 12.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-6
Halftime: Manly started with all guns blazing but the Storm are slowly starting to work themselves back into the game. The first try after the break will be crucial.
41 min: Manly get things underway in the second half.
42 min: Melbourne get six again and are throwing it around like they've all had some red cordial at halftime.
46 min: Anthony Quinn loses the ball while trying to play it. Manly get the scrum feed on halfway.
47 min: Foran goes for the cross field bomb but it sails out.
50 min: Slater hits Quinn with a short pass to put the Storm right on the attack.
51 min: Jason King drops the ball to put Manly under more pressure.
54 min: The Sea Eagles somehow get the ball out of the ingoal through Foran.
55 min: Tony Williams puts a massive tackle on Finch as Lyon stands and applauds.
57 min: Melbourne have had all the field position this half but can't quite land the killer punch.
59 min: Dane Neilsen gets a dislocated finger pulled back into place.
61 min: Jamie Lyon grubbers into the ingoal but Slater sneaks out.
64 min: Billy Slater nearly breaks though on a kick return but a good low tackle brings him down.
65 min: The Storm force a goal line drop out.
66 min: Video referee - possible Storm try..
66 min: TRY
Cooper Cronk takes on the line and slices through, hint of a double movement but replays show Watmough clearly fell off the tackle. Cameron Smith misses! It was a relatively easy kick.
Manly Sea Eagles 18-10
68 min: Some heavy collisions as Melbourne work it out of their half.
73 min: Manly with the goal line drop out, giving Melbourne a chance.
73 min: TRY
Cooper Cronk hits a hole in the ruck and crashes over. Smith converts this time and we're set for an exciting final few minutes!
Manly Sea Eagles 18-16
75 min: Ryan Hoffman makes a basic mistake, losing control in the play the ball. Manly scrum on the 50 metre line.
76 min: Foran grubbers on the last, everyone has a dive at the ball but it beats them all and goes dead.
78 min: The Storm start their set ten metres out from their own line, they've got a long way to travel..
78 min: Melbourne go for a 40/20 but Tony Williams has it covered easily.
80 min: The Storm have one last set inside the opposition half.
80 min: Adam Blair fumbles though and that should be the game for Manly.
Fulltime: Manly hold on to upset the Storm, their defence did the job for them in the second half. Melbourne made some uncharacteristic errors and have now lost two in a row.