It was perhaps the match of the round and it was the Manly Sea Eagles who came out on top, as a first-half blitz saw them defeat the Melbourne 28-8 at Brookvale Oval.
The win sees Manly move above Melbourne into third spot, with the win over the Storm their first against a top four side all season.
It was an uncharacteristic performance from Melbourne, who were making errors they would not usually make, as they looked frazzled in the first half and no answer for Manly’s onslaught.
There was a sour note for the Manly side, though, with utility Jamie Buhrer forced off the field after just 70 seconds, after he was caught awkwardly in a tackle and appeared to suffer a rib injury that resulted in his going to hospital.
Usually a firm talker and able to explain why his side won or lost, Storm coach Craig Bellamy was at a bit of a loss for words, unable to explain why his side’s performance was so poor.
“Obviously our defence was poor and usually that comes down to a poor attitude,” Bellamy said.
“I’m not quite sure why we had the poor attitude tonight.
“But it was really disappointing, so we’ve got a fair bit of work to do.
Even Storm captain Cameron Smith, was unsure as to why their performance was so bad.
“No. I don know what more to say, there’s no reason at all,” Smith said.
For Manly, coach Geoff Toovey praised his side, especially after losing Buhrer so early on in the game.
“It was a gutsy performance, particularly after losing Jamie Buhrer in the first minute,” Toovey said.
“We had to shuffle players around,, but I think the first half was definitely our best half of football this year.”
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