A Daly Cherry-Evans masterclass has inspired the Sea Eagles to a crushing 36-0 win over the Bulldogs in an utterly one-sided contest at Lottoland.
Manly showed last week’s 22-point win in Townsville was no fluke, with their skipper – who was playing in his 150th match – setting up four tries in the first half to help the Sea Eagles claim their first win at home since July 31, 2016.
Trent Barrett’s men were brilliant from start to finish, with the Sea Eagles opening up a 26-point half-time lead before they took their foot of the pedal after the break.
It was a different story for the Bulldogs whose attacking woes were on full display with the blue and whites managing just one line break for the match, while they failed to apply any pressure with their kicking game.
The Sea Eagles went agonisingly close to opening the scoring when Apisai Koroisau was held up centimetres short of the line, but they wouldn’t be denied two plays later when Dylan Walker raced through to plant a Cherry-Evans grubber just inside the dead-ball line in the 15th minute.
An offside penalty against the Bulldogs put the home side straight back on the attack and they made the most of it with Curtis Sironen running a perfect line to score off a Cherry-Evans short ball.
The Sea Eagles looked set to move further in front when a monster shot by Martin Taupau on Marcelo Montoya forced the ball free, allowing Jake Trbojevic to score under the posts, but the four-pointer was rubbed out after the officials deemed the initial contact to be high.
They wouldn’t be denied on their next attacking raid with rookie Brian Kelly continuing his love affair with Lottoland to ground a Blake Green grubber to make it 14-0.
Canterbury’s afternoon went from bad to worse when Josh Jackson was sent to the sin bin late in the half for tackling Tom Trbojevic from an offside position after the Sea Eagles fullback had taken a quick tap close to the line.
The Sea Eagles wasted little time attacking the gap where Jackson would have been with Kelly screaming into a hole to give Cherry-Evans his third try assist of the day.
Incredibly there was still time for DCE to add to his first-half tally, with the Sea Eagles skipper saving his best for last as he backed up a Trbojevic break before grubbering through with the outside of his boot to set up his star No.1 and send the crowd into hysterics with a 26-point lead.
Any thoughts of a second-half revival were quickly put to bed when Koroisau finished off some powerful work from Addin Fonua-Blake to push the lead past 30.
That looked to be the last score of the game until DCE pulled out all the tricks to somehow set up Akuila Uate with his left foot in the final minute to put the cherry on top of a classic Manly win.
Sea Eagles 36 (Brian Kelly 2, Dylan Walker, Curtis Sironen, Tom Trbojevic, Apisai Koroisau, Akuila Uate tries; Dylan Walker 4 goals) def. Bulldogs 0 at Lottoland. Half-time: 26-0. Crowd: 9,610