The game was in the balance three minutes from halftime, with the Tigers leading 12-10, before Daly Cherry-Evans and Tom Trbojevic decided to get properly involved, leading to a resurgent second half - Manly winning 44-24 at Suncorp Stadium.
The Sea Eagles opened the scoring in the 7th minute with a soft try after they shifted the ball casually to the right, but the Tigers defence over-read the movement. Morgan Harper isolated the remaining Tigers defender and then slipped through the line to score a very easy try. Reuben Garrick failed to convert from the sideline.
Jacob Liddle made a break 3 minutes later and ran 40 metres upfield before being tackled. Luke Brooks on the next play received the ball on the right, ran right before changing direction and running almost entirely sideways to the left before linking with Luke Garner who then helped get the ball out to Ken Maumalo who dived over to score in the corner. Adam Doueihi converted.
Manly reclaimed the lead in the 21st minute after Cherry-Evans kicked to the wing of Jason Saab. Maumalo let Saab catch the kick before tackling him, but Saab offloaded to Haumole Olakau'atu who quickly sent the ball to Lachlan Croker who scored. Garrick converted from in front.
Just 3 minutes later and the Tigers snatched the lead back when Brooks, with a darting run, got a good pass away back inside to Doueihi who ran between two players before being tackled 4 metres shy of the tryline, but managed to slide over for a try. He converted his own try to give the Tigers a 12-10 lead.
The Tigers then had 5 consecutive sets camped on the Manly line but couldn't trouble the scoreboard attendant. Manly though needed just 4 tackles. In the 37th minute Josh Schuster stepped back infield and passed inside to Cherry-Evans who raced 35 metres to score under the posts. Garrick added the extras.
From the restart, Manly continued attacking, with Tom Trbojevic shrugging off a tackle and then setting off downfield before linking with Brad Parker, who is eventually pulled down 30m from the Tigers line. On the following play Manly sent the ball right where Harper received a cut-out ball, brushed off Brooks and forced his way over for a try. Garrick failed to convert on the halftime bell. Manly had turned a 2 point deficit into an 8 point lead in the space of 3 minutes.
Manly continued their scoring run in the second half, with Tom Trbojevic showing left and then slipping through the defenders to score comfortably in the 46th minute. Garrick converted.
The Wests Tigers opted for a short restart but were penalised for being offside. On the last tackle of the Manly set, Lachlan Croker at dummy half and close to the Tigers line ran right and dumped the ball back inside to Dylan Walker who stood in a goal-line tackle, reached out and got the ball down for a soft try. Garrick again converted to give Manly a 20 point lead.
The Tigers hit back 6 minutes later when Jacob Liddle at dummy half, scooted over to score a trademark rake try. Doueihi added the extras.
A forward pass 8 minutes later saw the Tigers bomb a certain try to David Nofoaluma.
Manly then scored back-to-back tries to put the game to bed.
In the 67th minute, Cherry-Evans at second receiver drifted right and hit Harper running a strong hard line. He stormed through the Tigers left side defence and scored near the posts. Garrick converted.
90 seconds later and Cherry-Evans crossed for the softest try of the night when he straightened his run ever so slightly and scored through some feeble defence. Garrick added the extra 2.
With 8 minutes to go, the Tigers reduced the deficit to 20 points when Brooks dummied, ran to the line, linked with Daine Laurie who did the same before passing to Ken Maumalo who scored in the corner. Doueihi converted from touch.