Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers: Five key points
Star halves shine, Tigers' preparation, and Manly's possible mid-season revival. The key points from the Sea Eagles' 30-20 win over Wests Tigers at Brookvale Oval.
Playmaking combination vital for Manly
In an otherwise closely contested match, Manly's halves pairing of Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran were the difference on Friday night.
They created points out of nothing and controlled the game for their team, now the Sea Eagles just need to keep that combination on the park.
"It's very rare that we've had that combination together for any matches this year so the more we can do that the better," coach Geoff Toovey said after the win.
Star fullback Brett Stewart, who benefited with a try off the back of brilliant lead-up work by each playmaker also emphasised the importance of having the pair on the field.
"It was good for both halves and myself to be playing out there together," Stewart said.
"Hopefully as the year goes on we can string a few more games together and get some momentum."
Preparation matters for the Tigers
After what was supposed to be a pivotal victory over South Sydney last week the Tigers failed to collect back-to-back wins and coach Jason Taylor said it was all about preparation.
"The lesson for us this week is just about our preparation," Taylor said.
"Our preparation in the week leading into the Souths game was first class and this week's wasn't as good. It's not OK as coaches that we let these guys get away with that.
"We were confident that they just had an extra spring in their step due to the fact that we'd had such a great win but looking back at it closely we didn't prepare well enough and we got what we deserved in the end here tonight," he said.
Manly further from first spoon
Despite their big Friday night victory, the Sea Eagles won't move off the bottom rung of the NRL ladder by the end of the round with the Parramatta Eels receiving two points for the bye this round.
However Brett Stewart said after the match this his club is "definitely a fighting club," and will be doing everything they can to rise up the table.
"It's a week-by-week competition for us at the moment. Obviously injuries haven't helped us we just need to focus on each week and if we put performances in like tonight who knows what will happen by the end of the year."
Consistency all that matters for JT
Tigers coach Jason Taylor reiterated on a number of occasions after Friday night's loss that consistency is his main priority for his footy team.
Despite his side being just two points adrift of the eight, he insisted that finals footy was off his radar.
"We haven't even thought about finals, we want to get consistency... the table will look after itself if we get it together," Taylor said.
"How many times have I sat here and said we're looking for consistency. We're not getting it yet but we're working towards it and we've got to keep at it," he said.
Woodsy just loves his footy
Just two days after his starring role for the NSW Blues in Origin II, Aaron Woods was at it again, leading the Wests Tigers pack from the front.
And the big man wouldn't have had it any other way.
"I love playing so it wasn't hard at all [to back up], it was awesome, just the performance we dished up was disappointing for the club," Woods said.
In terms of his recovery, Woods said his coach "looked after" him by giving him the day off.
However skipper Robbie Farah was unable to defy the short turnaround.
"We did the right thing by Robbie today," Taylor said after the match.
"Yesterday he was keen to play but his shoulder was sorer today."