Wests Tigers’ NSW Cup side have gone down 34-18 to a dominant Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles side clash this afternoon at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.
Leading 12-0 early in the match thanks to a first-half double from Delouise Hoeter, Paul Fletcher’s side went into the break locked at 12-all with the Sea Eagles, before strong performances from Jayden Hodges and Michael Chee Kam saw the visitors finish over the top of the home side and inflict a fourth consecutive defeat on Wests Tigers.
Two tries in the opening 13 minutes to Hoeter, both of which saw some strong build-up play from Josh Drinkwater, saw Wests Tigers race out to an early 12-0 lead.
However, as the visitors began to mount some attacking pressure on Wests Tigers courtesy of a high penalty count in their favour, Chee Kam had his first influence on the match when he burst through the line after 27 minutes — racing down field before offloading to Delroy Berryman as Kurtis Rowe attempted to shut down the play.
Kurt Aldridge had no problems with the conversion, taking the score to 12-6.
The Sea Eagles would continue to dominate field possession and territory, and would cross for a crucial try before the half-time interval as Hodges sold the dummy close to the line before burrowing his way over next to the posts. That took the score to 12-12, which is how it would read as the two teams went to the half-time sheds.
Despite some promising signs for Wests Tigers early in the second half, it would be Manly that posted first points of the second half in the 50th minute, as a good offload from Chee Kam close to the line found Hodges on hand for his second try of the day.
Aldridge converted to give the Sea Eagles their first lead of the afternoon, up 18-12.
Wests Tigers would hit back in the 54th minute through Rowe — who finished off a great grubber from Drinkwater — to level the match at 18-18 all once again.
However, a disappointing final 20 minutes from Fletcher’s side would see the visitors emerge with a comfortable victory in the end, with Chee Kam grabbing two tries in the final period of the match, before setting up one more for Berryman to seal the win.
Manaia Rudolph’s unsuccessful conversion late in the match — and attempted penalty goal — saw the score remain at 34-18 as the siren sounded, giving Wests Tigers NSW Cup side with their fourth straight defeat which puts them outside the top eight.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 34 (Berryman 2, Chee Kam 2, Hodges 2 tries; Aldridge 4/4, Rudolph 1/2 goals) def. Wests Tigers 18 (Hoeter 2, Rowe tries; Drinkwater 3/3 goals)