The Manly Sea Eagles came into this game sitting in the top 8 with two wins in a row while the Cronulla Sharks got back into the winners circle last week.
First points of the game went the way of the men in blue.
It was the late starter Braden Hamlin-Uele who crashed over with Shaun Johnson converting to make the lead 6-0.
It was not long until the Sea eagles struck back.
On his return from injury, Jorge Taufua went over for the Sea Eagles first points.
Reuben Garrick was unable to add the 2 points from the left sideline so the lead remained 6-4 to the Sharks.
That lead however, would not last much longer.
5 minutes after Manly’s try, a grubber was put through by the Sea Eagles.
It was cleaned up by Matt Moylan but he was deemed offside as he was in front of Briton Nikora who already touched it.
Garrick added the 2 points from right in front to level the score at 6-all.
Cronulla did not take long to take the lead back.
The scores were only level for 5 minutes before Sione Katoa broke the deadlock.
Johnson sent a grubber through the defensive line and it bounced up for Katoa to add the 4 points.
Johnson converted to make the lead 12-6. This remained the score until the half time break.
Manly needed a fast start to the second half but instead, they didn’t even seem to leave the sheds.
Sharks received the kickoff and on the opening set, Chad Townsend grubbered through for Josh Dugan to score.
Johnson converted to make the lead 24-6.
The Sharks had all the momentum and it was Johnson who was involved yet again.
He threw a beautiful cutout ball to Bryson Goodwin who beat one tackle and powered over to score.
The Kiwi international had his first miss of the night and the score remained 28-6.
A few minutes later, the Sharks again had the ball in great position.
Quick hands through Johnson and Chad gave Katoa enough space.
Katoa raced over and produced a quality put down to score a 4-pointer that was “sexy for the fans”.
Johnson had a brilliant conversion attempt to make the lead 34-6.
Manly finally hit back with 20 minutes left.
Nikora shot up out of the line leaving a gaping hole for Jake Trbojevic.
Addin Fonua-Blake received it on the inside as support to score Manly’s first second half points.
Garrick kicked the goal from right in front to lower the deficit to 34-12.
As Manly looked to build some momentum, an error let Cronulla off the hook and they had field position again.
A grubber was placed through that Blayke Brailey chased to score Cronulla’s seventh try of the afternoon.
Johnson added the 2 to make the lead 40-12.
With less than 10 minutes left and a 28 point lead, Sharks had all but won it.
However, that didn’t stop Manly from scoring a consolation try.
On the goal line, Curtis Sironen drew in a couple defenders and offloaded to Fonua-Blake who scored a double.
Garrick converted to lower the deficit to 40-18.
Manly crossed again five minutes later but it still wasn’t enough.
Tevita Funa got the ball with enough space to get a try with a spectacular finish.
Garrick hooked the goal so the score remained 40-22 to the Sharks.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Shaun Johnson (CRO)
2. Chad Townsend (CRO)
- Addin Fonua-Blake (MAN)