The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have won their second consecutive match in 2021, beating the Gold Coast Titans by 36 points to nil in one of the biggest upsets of the season.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring at the 6 minute mark courtesy of a penalty goal, and the defensive pressure applied to the Titans in their next set saw Manly in prime position to extend that lead. They did just that through Brad Parker, who went straight through the Titans defence, while Garrick's conversion made it 8-0.
It was ominous for the Titans later on, with Lachlan Croker making a clean break up the middle of the field and the Gold Coast defence unable to scramble sufficiently, with Reuben Garrick scoring himself in the next couple of plays.
That try was the start of a 5 minute period of death for the Titans, with Tom Trbojevic dummying his way through the defensive line and burning AJ Brimson on the outside to score, while just 2 minutes later on the first set off the kickoff he went right through again and linked up with Jason Saab who scored the try that made it 26-0 in 26 minutes.
There were no points scored for the rest of the half and the Titans looked like they might put up a bit more of a fight in the second 40 than the first one, getting on the attack early courtesy of a shift to the left where David Fifita was looking, while the pressure was compounded after Brimson was taken out by Jake Trbojevic off the ball in back play.
They had all the ball and field position in the first 5 minutes, however the Titans did not look threatening in the slightest and failed to put any points on the board over 14 or 15 tackles in opposition territory. Their grubber on the last tackle was trapped by Morgan Harper who took off into open space and set up Jason Saab for his second of the afternoon, with Manly scoring the first points of the half with their first touch of the half.
It was a scrappy period that followed, with both sides struggling to complete sets. At one point Kevin Proctor looked to be over for all money, but he dropped it cold and gave Manly a 7 tackle set.
Manly eventually got the ball in good attacking position and a superb cutout ball from Kieran Foran found Reuben Garrick, who put the foot down to go in for his second try of the day.
Sean Keppie thought that he had his first try in the NRL, however the bunker intervened and determined that Brad Parker had knocked on in the lead-up.
That was all she wrote in Mudgee, with the Manly side looking to continue their winning ways against the Tigers on ANZAC day, while the Titans will be up against it at home next week, playing against premiership contenders the Rabbitohs.