Needing someone to step up, Tom Trbojevic delivered at the clutch for the Manly Sea Eagles in their 18-6 win over the Canterbury Bulldogs.
The first half was one dominated by the Bulldogs. They had the possession, the field position but failed to capitalise.
It proved costly as a second-half blitz and period of dominance of their own, saw Manly record a much-needed win.
The Sea Eagles hit the lead with an early penalty goal but the Bulldogs would score the first try and their only points.
Michael Lichaa passed back on the inside and Reimis Smith did the rest, bustling his way over.
Try as they might before and after, despite all their possession, the Dogs could not crack the Manly line again.
The game then turned on its head as Manly dominated possession and the Bulldogs errors began to climb.
Manly’s first try came off an attacking scrum as Trbojevic outpaced Kerrod Holland to score.
Soon after, a second try for Trbojevic came, as Brian Kelly popped a lovely late offload for the fullback to simply fall over the line.
Forced to do a mountain of defence, the Dogs line eventually cracked again.
Addin Fonua-Blake scoring a rare NRL try as he crashed over off a Daly Cherry-Evans short pass.
The win was the first for Manly at Lottland (named McGrath Foundation Stadium for this week due to Women in League round) in seven starts.
With defence so crucial in today’s game, Trent Barrett praised his side’s resolve to keep the Dogs at bay.
“Our first half set it up really, down to 12 men, the defensive effort in the first half they just kept turning up and turning up,” he said.
“I think we only had one good ball set in the first half and on the wrong end of possession and 7-3 penalties.
“To come in at 6-4, was a real good result for us.
I knew if we had enough good ball we’d score enough points. Credit to the players, they did a terrific job.”
Player of the Game:
3. Tom Trbojevic
2. Addin Fonua-Blake
- Daly Cherry-Evans