Young guns fire in Sea Eagles win
The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles have scored yet another crucial victory on their unlikely run to the NRL finals, with a 28-8 win over the South Sydney Rabbitohs at a packed Brookvale Oval on Friday night.
The home team seemed to play with a far greater tempo, their forwards bending the Bunnies back while their halves took the ball to the line at pace and made plenty of metres themselves.
That attacking combination caused problems for South Sydney who simply didn't look like they had the same energy or motivation as their opponents.
The Rabbitohs also struggled to maintain possession, completing at 77 per cent to Manly's 81 per cent, for just 40 per cent possession.
Manly's impressive victory is their sixth from their last eight games and sees them jump up to 22 points, sitting outside the top eight only on points differential.
Jake Trbojevic was the first over, for the second straight week, as he found himself running wide into a hole on the Bunnies' right edge. Lyon's conversion made it 6-2 following Reynolds' penalty goal in the 5th minute.
The Sea Eagles would be back on the board in the 16th minute after a slick backline movement and a beautiful Brett Stewart cut-out pass found Peta Hiku in open pastures down the right sideline.
The Kiwi winger would have his second in similar fashion soon after, once again benefiting from a sharp backline movement against which the Bunnies defence seemed to have no answer.
The home team jogged off at half-time to rousing applause from a thrilled, 15 thousand-strong Brookvale Oval crowd.
The potent right-side Manly attack would produce points once again to start the second half scoring, and once again Hiku was the benefactor, scoring his third try of the match off some smart work on the inside from Lyon. The skipper's sideline conversion gave the Sea Eagles an unassailable 20 point lead.
The Sea Eagles added salt to the Bunnies' wounds with a late try to Trbojevic, who powered over from short range to secure his second of the night and third of his career.
Lyon's conversion made him just the third player in Sea Eagles history to score 500 points at Brookvale.
Alex Johnston scored late to give the game its final 28-8 point scoreline.
Glenn Stewart was placed on report in the 44th minute for a high shot on Steve Matai, which broke the Manly centre's nose.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 (Hiku 3, Trbojevic 2, tries; Lyon 4 goals) defeated South Sydney Rabbitohs 8 (Johnston try; Reynolds 2 goals) at Brookvale Oval. Crowd: 15,083.