Wests Tigers have gone down 40-6 to the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles in today's ANZAC Day clash at Bankwest Stadium.
Playing on April 25 for the first time since 2004, Wests Tigers got off to the perfect start in front of a 14,095-strong crowd at Bankwest Stadium — scoring first through Luciano Leilua — before a five-minute first half blip saw the visitors take over.
Three tries in the space of four minutes — all of which involved Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans — saw the visitors head to the half-time sheds with a stunning 18-6 lead, which they would manage through the second half to secure the win.
Michael Maguire's men battled bravely in the second half with a strong completion rate throughout the contest keeping the pressure on the Sea Eagles, but they were unable to conjure the attacking potency required to complete a comeback.
With four consecutive defeats, Wests Tigers will be desperate to turn their form around next Sunday when they take on the St. George-Illawarra Dragons.
Having dominated the opening 10 minutes, it was fitting that Leilua opened the scoring for Wests Tigers after a strong linebreak moments earlier put his side on the attack. A deflection from Cherry-Evans allowed the Samoan international to crawl his way to the ball to score, with Adam Doueihi converting for a 6-0 lead.
Leilua crawls his way to the line
Some desperate goal-line defence from Daine Laurie kept the hosts in front as Maguire's men appeared to be managing the contest well after half an hour.
But a blistering five-minute spell quickly turned that around, with Josh Schuster and then Tom Trbojevic both breaking through the line to set up tries for Cherry-Evans.
The Manly captain then turned provider for Martin Taupau after 33 minutes, with three simple conversions for Reuben Garrick giving the visitors a shock 18-6 lead given they had been dominated in terms of possession and field position.
Needing to start fast in the second half, it was more one-way traffic for the Sea Eagles who were beginning to find their feet in the contest — continuing to break open the Wests Tigers defensive line with ease on the edges.
A break from Haumole Olakau'atu on the right set up Trbojevic for his first four-pointer of the afternoon — extending the visitors' lead to 20 points — before the fullback turned provider to assist Garrick on an excellent left edge raid.
As errors and missed tackles continued to grow for Wests Tigers, so too did the points against. Jason Saab showed off his athleticism to pluck a Kieran Foran kick out of the air before the veteran five-eighth got himself on the scoresheet late on with another shift to the edges paying off handsomely.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 40 (Cherry-Evans 2, Taupau, T.Trbojevic, Garrick, Saab, Foran tries; Garrick 6/8 goals) def. Wests Tigers 6 (L.Leilua tries; Doueihi 1/1 goals) at Bankwest Stadium
Match: Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles
Round 7 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney