The Tigers started their Round 14 matchup strong in Brett Kimmorley’s first game as interim head coach, but were ultimately beaten by the Sea Eagles losing 30-4.
New signing Brent Naden looked like he had crossed for a certain try, but on closer inspection dropped the ball over the line.
“Welcome to the roller coaster of being Brett Kimmorley’s head coach,” said Warren Smith.
“Carried away by the Bunker.”
MATCH CENTRE: Tigers vs Sea Eagles squads, SuperCoach scores, videos, updates
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Moments later, Sea Eagles prop Josh Aloiai cut the line to score.
The Fusion Club were able to fight back via a try from Luke Garner, but from then on it was all Des Hasler’s men led by backrower Haumole Olakau’atu.
“How about this guy for a PSU,” said Steve Roach.
“It was an incredible performance.”
Sea Eagles fullback Reuben Garrick managed a cross in the 54th minute, before Olakau’atu made a stunning run, leaving three Tigers defenders in his wake.
Olakau’atu blasted his way over the line, capping his dominating performance and giving his team a buffer.
Then, to make matters worse for the Tigers, Naden was sent off for his dangerous tackle on Jake Trbojevic, leaving his side short for the remaining 15 minutes.
Tolutau Koula surged, cutting the line 50 yards out, burning Daine Laurie at the back to score his first NRL try.
But the Sea Eagles didn’t stop there, with Josh Aloiai again charging through the defensive line to score.
Here are the big takeaways from this afternoon’s clash!
THE MANLY BACKROWER STAR
Haumole Olakau’atu showed he was one of the best backrowers in the competition with a huge performance against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon.
The 23-year-old was damaging on offense and defense against the Tigers, landing a number of hits and proving difficult to manage with the ball in hand.
“Haumole Olakau’atu, with and without the ball his defense was brutal at times and in the first set of the game on a nice short ball from Foran he went straight through,” said Fox League’s Michael Ennis.
“This one just ran over Brent Naden leaving him in his wake, look bang.
“He was brutal, watch that for a kick… he has a really good game, making a real statement.”
Late in the game, the powerful striker bore through several tackles, leaving the Tigers defenders in his wake to score an impressive try.
“How about this guy for a PSU,” said Steve Roach.
“It was an amazing performance.”
Olakau’atu finished with 162 yards rushed, one try, ten tackle jumps, three line breaks and 21 tackles.
THE IMPORTANCE OF GARRICK
Reuben Garrick has scored seven tries in his last six games to stand out in the absence of star full-back Tom Trbojevic.
Many pundits have ruled out the Sea Eagles after Turbo’s season-ending shoulder injury, but Manly’s side have looked strong in recent weeks, recording two big wins and two tight losses to the Eels and Storm.
Garrick’s form will be crucial to the success of Des Hasler’s teams and so far he has delivered in spades.
“He’s not Tom Trbojevic but he’s so important to this Manly team and will be if they’re to stay in the finals race,” said Fox League’s Matt Russell.
“His tenth try of the season, plenty of goals too… his role is very high if Manly is to qualify for the final.”
Garrick finished with impressive stats, recording 188 running yards, six tackle breaks, 14 points, two offloads, a line break and an assist in an all-around performance on Sunday afternoon.
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JURBO ORIGIN CLAIM
Origin’s omission of Jake Trbojevic was a major talking point after Brad Fittler’s Blues selections.
Although the reliable lock is not a ready-to-use attacking weapon in the Blues’ starting squad, his versatility and impressive work rate have seen many land him on the bench.
Since being kicked out of the side, Trbojevic has put in two huge performances to lead his team into the park.
Although he doesn’t shine with bright moments, the Fox League panel explained that Trbojevic’s value comes from his attitude in and around camp.
“The happiest man in rugby league, I love him,” said Braith Anasta.
“The nicest guy to put on a jersey, he plays with his heart on his sleeve and you know what you’re going to get out of him every week,” Corey Parker said.
“No matter the shirt, no matter who he plays for, he just embodies whoever you want on your team.”
“That attitude, you talk about Origin but the attitude of the guy in the camp, he’s so friendly, he’s a rock, sure he didn’t set the world on fire with his attack, but you know what are you going to get from him,” Anasta said.
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