Manly Sea Eagles vs Gold Coast Titans, live stream, live blog, SuperCoach scores, videos, Daly Cherry-Evans, AJ Brimson

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The Titans staged a huge second-half comeback to edge desperately closer to victory over the Sea Eagles.

It was a battle of the backrowers at 4 Pines Park, with gun Manly Haumole Olakau’atu and Gold Coast star David Fifita shining in the Sea Eagles’ 26-18 win.

A deft kick from Daly Cherry-Evans opened the scoring, allowing Olakau’atu to score a single try.

MATCH CENTRE: Sea Eagles vs Titans teams, SuperCoach scores, videos, updates

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Sea Eagles No. 1 Reuben Garrick crossed the line minutes later after receiving a pass from Kieren Foran, cutting the Titans defensive line before kicking off the conversion.

Then, with nine minutes left in the half, hooker Lachlan Croker handed the ball to his barn rower just yards from the try line.

Olakau’atu broke in for his second to rack up points in the first half, but the Titans were able to bounce back quickly.

David Fifita received the ball into space, fending off Andrew Davey before handing the ball to full-back Jamayne Isaako to cross for Gold Coast’s first of the night.

Despite resistance from the Titans, the Sea Eagles fought back with Kieren Foran’s cross for his 50th career try, dodging inside to find the line.

After half-time, the Titans were able to register points again, thanks to a bizarre sequence of events that saw Brian Kelly receive the ball with an open try line.

Toby Sexton threw a bomb, the ball being pushed past a few quick Titans hands to find their cross in the clear.

Then David Fifita received the ball in space 20 yards from the line, delivering a characteristic barnstorming run to cross, easily beating full-back Reuben Garrick.

Minutes later, captain Tino Fa’asuamaleaui was put through a glaring hole by utility Will Smith, to continue their comeback but ultimately fail.

Here are the big takeaways from the clash of the Titans and Sea Eagles!!!

FIFITA STARS AMID INTENSE CRITICISM

Titans million dollar man David Fifita might be the most criticized player in the entire NRL.

In his day, the animated backrower is unplayable, but has failed to live up to his potential in the eyes of many to open the 2022 season.

With fans and pundits alike expecting standout performances from gunpoint week after week, it’s easy to forget that Fifita is extremely young.

“A lot of people forget sometimes, he’s only 22,” explained Fox League’s Corey Parker.

“We hear about Justin Holbrook…and it’s a young team and that comes with some inconsistent performance.

“And David Fifita, we’re just punters, we just sit and revel in this master who goes out there and we say ‘oh my God’, we want to see that every game, but as he has said, it’s not under eight years.”

Despite the scrutiny, Titans coach Justin Holbrook told the Fox League pundit panel before the game about Fifita’s performance, saying he was happy with his star striker.

“He (Holbrook) has been really impressed with his areas of effort, he likes the fact that he’s doing the tackles, being in all these plays, because we judge him on those breakout performances and those reels. headlights,” Cooper Cronk said.

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“You look at the times when Fifita has dominated games, it’s in patches, he came off the bench towards the end of last year and dominated at different stages and now he’s trying to get that 80 minute performance.

“Like the rest of his squad, there’s a lot of inexperience, a lot of maturity to be had, but there’s enough to say David Fifita can do it, we’re all waiting for him.”

Fifita put in a solid performance on Saturday night against the Sea Eagles, despite her team struggling in the battle for possession.

In the first half, the Titans were five sets behind the Sea Eagles, and between the 30th and 40th minute they had just 37% possession.

Despite the stats, Fifita was able to inject himself into the game on one of his first runs, edging Andrew Davey to put full-back Jamayne Isaako in space to score his side’s first.

Then, to kick off his side’s late push, Fifita crossed the line and was unstoppable from 20 yards out to score.

Fifita finished with 105 running yards, four tackle breaks, a try, four offloads and a try assist in his best showing of 2022, despite not being given much of a clean ball.

HOLBROOK TO TAKE NOTES

Haumaole Olakau’atu was a class above against the Titans, constantly threatening and scoring two tries against the Gold Coast side.

While his first was a simple smash, his second try he burst on a defensive line that didn’t seem to stop the 23-year-old.

At the end of the first half, the barnstorming backrower had 60 yards running, two tackle jumps and two tries.

At the end of the 80 minutes, the front of the barrel finished with 121 running meters, 47 meters of contact after, two tackle breaks, two tries and a line break.

Meanwhile, Titans coach Justin Holbrook will take notes on the Sea Eagles playmakers.

The trio of Daly Cherry-Evans, Kieren Foran and Lachlan Croker managed to integrate their backrower effortlessly into seemingly every offensive play.

Olakau’atu volleyed on the ball several times under Cherry-Evans and broke out initial tackles to put the Titans on the back foot.

In six games in 2022, the duo of AJ Brimson and Toby Sexton have been unable to achieve their own gun backrower, David Fifita’s potential, despite the million man dollars who put in a strong performance in Round 6.

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A TWO-HALF GAME

Justin Holbrook’s side have a knack for coming home in the second half after collecting a barrage of points in the first.

By Round 5, the Titans had scored 20 points and lost nine times through 2021 and the start of the 2022 season.

In Round 6, the Gold Coast team scored 18 and still lost, allowing 24 points in the first half and only scoring four.

Against the Eels in Round 5, the Titans conceded 14 points in the first half, trailing 14-0, then racked up 20 points in the second to lose 26-20.

While Justin Holbrook’s side can clearly register points, their defensive issues let them down early in games.

The Titans have started slowly over the past two weeks, falling behind on the scoreboard and giving themselves the difficult task of trying to recover the deficit.

While comeback wins are crucial to proving a team’s quality, the Titans only managed one – beating the Raiders in the third round.

If the Titans manage to inject their pace and ferocity in the second half, at the very start of the match, Justin Holbrook’s men could launch and deliver an 80-minute masterclass.

PRE-MATCH WRAPPING

The Manly Sea Eagles host the Gold Coast Titans in a blockbuster clash at 4 Pines Park.

Star prop Marty Taupau was a late scratch due to Covid protocols with Toafofoa Sipley entering front row.

Earlier in the week, Morgan Harper was also ruled out due to Covid protocols with young gun Tolutau Koula taking his place in the centres.

Reuben Garrick retains the full-back role vacated by injured Tom Trbojevic who is not due to return until Round 10.

For the Titans, mid-season signing Jamayne Isaako retains the fullback with Jayden Campbell still sidelined through injury.

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Brian Kelly returns to center, with Phillip Sami moving to the wing and Corey Thompson dropping into reserve.

Kevin Proctor was lifted into the reserves with Sam Lisone, Jaimin Jolliffe and Jarrod Wallace favored on the bench rotation alongside utility Will Smith.

It sets the stage for a crucial clash as both sides look to stay in and around the all-important top eight.

The Sea Eagles team: 1. Reuben Garrick 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Tolutau Koula 5. Christian Tuipulotu 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Josh Aloiai 9. Lachlan Croker 20. Toafofoa Sipley 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Andrew Davey 13. Jake Trbojevic 14. Dylan Walker 15. Karl Lawton 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka 19. Ben Trbojevic

The Titans team: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Greg Marzhew 6. AJ Brimson 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 14. Will Smith 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Jarrod Wallace 18. Paul Turner

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