Playing in front of their biggest home crowd in eight years, the Manly Sea Eagles have left the Brookvale faithful happy following their 36-22 victory over a spirited Wests Tigers side.
Things didn't start well for the Tigers as Daly Cherry-Evans opening kick off was regathered by the Sea Eagles who dominated field position and territory throughout the opening ten minutes. The Tigers thought they had weathered the storm and through the opening twenty-five minutes when it looked as if they had opened the scoring only for it to be knocked back overturned by the bunker for an obstruction.
The bright moment for the Tigers didn't last as the Sea Eagles were able to get momentum and just over a minute later, the Sea Eagles were able to open the scoring when Ben Trbojevic got his way over the line after Manly were able to get a quick play the ball to create space.
Discipline issues were hurting the Tigers and referee Adam Gee had reached his limit as the Tigers gave away one penalty too many and Stefano Utoikamanu was sent to the sin bin. The Sea Eagles took advantage of the extra man as Reuben Garrick scored out wide but failed to convert his own try.
The Sea Eagles added a third try on the stroke of half time, again using the advantage of the extra man when Christian Tuipulotu scored out wide after the Tigers defence was caught short. Garrick added his first conversion of the afternoon to give the home side a 14-0 lead at the break.
Daly Cherry-Evans showed he is still one of the best halves in the competition when he was put into open space by Tolutau Kouala and DCE raced away, putting on the moves on Starford To'a beating him all ends up to score. Garrick's poor day with the boot continued as he missed the conversion.
The Tigers spirit was going to keep them in the contest and it was a solo effort from Luke Garner that got them back into the contest. Jackson Hastings conversion from out wide closed the gap to just 12 points.
It was second time lucky for the Tigers on their second try after Tyrone Peachey redeemed himself when he chased through a deflected kick after only 60 seconds before having an effort overturned by the bunker.
The gap had closed to just a converted try but an error from the kick-off gave Manly possession of the ball and it wasn't long before Josh Aloiai was able to get over under the posts. The conversion from in front pushed the margin back to 12.
Ben Trbojevic added a second as he was able to just get the ball to the line after the Tigers defence was caught out. Garrick added the conversion to extend the lead to three converted tries.
The Tigers weren't done with yet adding a try to Englishman Oliver Gildart but a missed conversion put any hopes of a comeback to bed. Both sides added tries in the final five minutes with Reuben Garrick scoring a double for the Sea Eagles whilst Joe Ofahengaue scored just before full time for the Tigers.
Next week at Magic Round, the Sea Eagles take on Brisbane whilst the Cowboys await for the Tigers.