Full Time
8:00pm Fri May 24, 2024
Round 12 - 4 Pines Park, Brookvale / Cammeraygal - Crowd: 17211

Match Overview

Manly have held off a fast-finishing Melbourne Storm to come away with a valuable and well deserved 26-20 win at Brookvale Oval tonight.

Queensland halfback and Sea Eagles skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was instrumental in the win, having a hand in several tries, in what was a terrific battle in game management with Storm half Jahrome Hughes.

With key attacking weapons Tom Trbrojevic and Toutau Koula watching from the stands and off the back of three straight losses, many had written the Sea Eagles off against the high-flying Storm. However it was their young guns in Tommy Talau, who scored two tries and debutant Lehi Hopoate who lifted for the home side to help secure arguably their best win of the season.

It was billed as a big occasion on the peninsula for their clash with their bitter rivals and Manly managed to get on the scoreboard first, thanks to an early penalty goal from Rueben Garrick.

The home side then extended their lead when Luke Brooks put Ben Trbojevic through an enormous hole off a scrum play, where Trbojevic the third wrestled his way over the line to score the first try of the night. Garrick nailed the sideline conversion to give his side a confidence boosting 8-0 lead.

Tommy Talau made it back-to-back tries for the Sea Eagles after the former Tiger collected a nice pass from rookie fullback Lehi Hopoate to slide over in the corner and it was all the Sea Eagles at 12-0 with halftime looming.

In typical Melbourne fashion the Storm hung in, and it was Eliesa Katoa who dived on a deft grubber at the line from Jahrome Hughes to score a crucial try just before halftime and reduce the score to 12-6.

Manly regained the momentum in the second half when NSW forward Jake Trbojevic crashed over next to the posts following a superb short ball from the skipper Daly Cherry-Evans. Garrick converted and it was 18-6 to the home side.

Melbourne again hit back through Nick Meaney who scored next to the posts after collecting a neat pass from Sualauvi Faalogo to narrow the margin to a converted try following Meaney's conversion.

The Storm continued to apply pressure to the home side, when Harry Grant made a bust and Manly were penalised for being offside in marker defence from the ensuing play. Meaney took the gift two points to narrow the scoreline to 18-14 with a quarter of the match remaining.

Manly then nudged themselves ahead on the scoreboard when Talau picked up his second try after Cherry-Evans created an overlap on the left-hand side. Garrick converted and the home side led by 10 with as many on the clock.

Luke Brooks then looked to have got Manly the win, however replays showed he lost the ball over the line. Melbourne was penalised for a high tackle in the lead up however, and Garrick extended the margin to 12 points through a penalty goal.

Melbourne refused to go away as the halves in Wishart and Hughes combined to put their halfback over late in the match putting them behind by a converted try.

The Storm had the wind in their sails and they kept coming for the Eagles late, but Manly scrambled and scrapped their way to a morale boosting 26-20 win in front of their ecstatic home fans.

Both teams will enjoy the bye heading into the first week of the Origin period and will re-set post Origin I for the second part of the NRL season.

3. Daly Cherry-Evans

Cherry-Evans was instrumental in the win, having a hand in several tries, in what was a terrific exhibition in game management.

2. Jake Trbojevic

Was enormous in the middle scoring the first try of the night and led the desperate defence late in the match.

1. Jahrome Hughes

Was outstanding in a losing side, almost snatching the win for the visitors.