The action of the Rivalry Round continued on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium when the Manly Sea Eagles travelled to Cronulla and handed the Sharks a 48 – 18 thrashing in front of a disappointing crowd of less than 9,000.
The Sharks season is now surely done and dusted as they suffered their third straight loss, finding themselves in the 14th spot on the ladder.
Manly on the other hand are back in a playoffs position, jumping up to the sixth spot on 22 competition points. Their new found confidence and return to form makes the Sea Eagles a good bet to ‘Make the Top 8’ at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Now is a good time to get on the lucrative odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for Manly to Make the Top 8
Enjoying their highest scoring win of the season, the Sea Eagles kicked off their nine-tries-to-three victory in fine style, scoring seven unanswered tries in the first half while keeping the Sharks scoreless in a merciless display.
Cronulla put up little in the way of defence throughout the first 40 minutes, no doubt feeling the blow of the late withdrawal of skipper Trent Barrett (shoulder) and winger Blake Ferguson (rib).
A double to Tony Williams and a hat-trick for Anthony Watmough got things underway. Williams scored the opening try in the 7th minute after a Glenn Stewart kick, and then got over again in the 20th, with Watmough getting two tries in three minutes in between scoring in the 10th and 13th minutes.
Shane Rodney converted two from four and the visitors were in front by 20 points after the first quarter.
Before the Sharks got to the half-time rest, Manly managed three more as Watmough completed this trifecta in the 29th minute and then Michael Robertson and Kieran Foran scored one each in the 33rd and 39th minutes.
Two more successful kicks, one by Rodney and one by skipper Jamie Lyon, pushed the Sea Eagles to a sensational 36 – nil lead heading into the break.
In the second half the Sharks finally began to fight back, after having been booed off at the interval, and managed to get in three tries.
But it was too little too late and as Manly were able to score another two themselves, the resounding result was never in doubt.
Four minutes in Nathan Gardner opened the Sharks account, followed just three minutes later by a Paul Gallen four-pointer. Luke Covell converted both tries, but the crushed home side still trailed by 24 points.
Putting to bed any hopes Cronulla fans had of seeing the comeback of the century, the Sea Eagles scored two final tries one each to Jamie Lyon and Chris Bailey in the 65th and 74th minutes, both converted by the captain to give them a total of 48 points.
A final converted try for the Sharks by Josh Cordoba in the 77th minute did little to ease the pain, but would have put a smile on the faces of the punters who had bet on the last scoring play to be a Sharks try at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Punters who bet on the last scoring play to be a try by the Sharks at Ladbrokes.com.au had the last laugh
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