Winger Michael Bani snared a triple treat as Manly beat the Vodafone Warriors 24-16 in their NRL trial at Stockland Park on the Sunshine Coast on Friday night. In blustery and wet conditions, the Warriors led 12-10 at halftime through tries to Grant Rovelli and Michael Witt, both converted by Witt.
Jamie Lyon added the extras to one of Bani’s first two tries. The outstanding winger was given room again to go in for his third try 14 minutes into the second, enabling Manly to regain the lead 14-12.
The Sea Eagles weren’t done as former Newcastle prop Josh Perry got across from close range, Lyon’s conversion taking the lead out to 20-12. And from the restart, Manly went in again through former Parramatta junior David Williams. Once more Lyon was unable to convert in the windy conditions.
In the final minute, the Warriors found Manly short on numbers, putting 20-year-old winger Malo Solomona over wide out. Witt didn’t bother with the conversion.
One of the positive features for the Warriors was centre Brent Tate’s impressive return to the playing field after a long lay-off following knee surgery. And Aidan Kirk and Lance Hohaia were both sound in their stints at fullback.
At Stockland Park, Kawana, Sunshine Coast:
Vodafone Warriors 16 (Grant Rovelli, Michael Witt, Malo Solomona tries; Michael Witt 2 conversions).
Manly Sea Eagles 24 (Michael Bani 3, Josh Perry, David Williams tries; Jamie Lyon 2 conversions).
Halftime: 12-10 Vodafone Warriors.