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Manly show their title credentials, no bull

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by Berkeley_Eagle, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Manly show their title credentials, no bull

    Glenn Jackson | July 4, 2008 - 10:02PM
    Gold Coast 14 Manly 34

    COWABUNGA! The team with the calves' blood in their veins can play a bit too. Udderly fantastic. And after the week they've endured, the result was moosic to their ears.

    They've been saying it 'til the cows come home, but they are a premiership team.

    Boom tish!

    But seriously. Last night's clash with the Titans was a dangerous game for Manly. They have been under the microscope during the week, following the Herald's revelations about the peculiar use of the peculiar substance.

    But they do have substance, bovine intervention or not, even if you'll forgive us for having a little fun at their expense out of a rousingly entertaining fixture, which came after one of the most entertaining stories of the year. Even if their, um, blood boiled.

    They won last night even after losing centre Steve Matai, one of their best in recent months, early with a sternum injury. And even after the Titans stuck it to them.

    It was the Titans who had the hide to score first. They looked sharp early. Mat Rogers, with his branded arms and lethal left foot, kicked for winger Ben Jeffery, who found centre Luke O'Dwyer. Only problem was, O'Dwyer was so shocked by the quality of the play he promptly dropped the ball. A try butchered.

    But they were showing great movement. Just two minutes later, Blues back-rower Anthony Laffranchi charged onto a Nathan Friend ball for a ninth minute try.

    The Sea Eagles lost Matai soon after, but they also hit back, his centre partner Steve Bell getting the ball down in traffic to score.

    They knew they were in a game. Winger Michael Robertson was hit by a Michael Hodgson shoulder, and had the wobbly legs of a mad cow. The hit was neither penalised nor placed on report, however a charge would not surprise.

    The two sides have only played each other once previously, but there was clearly a bit of bad blood between them. No Scott Prince, no Ashley Harrison, no Luke Bailey. No worries.

    Manly were being forced into errors, but the good sides withstand the pressure. They are certainly that. Evergreen Steve Menzies, 34 but yet to be put out to pasture, showed why when he steered his way through with a dummy and a dart to score after 32 minutes.

    They can truly stake a claim for a premiership. The Ox, Matt Orford, can drive the cattle around a paddock. No wonder his coach Des Hasler thinks the talk that he cannot stand up in the big games is a load of old bull.

    The Titans aren't done yet, even without their co-captains. Halfback Brad Davis, who has been blooded at age 26 in Prince's absence, has been strong - his ball to Laffranchi for his second try of the night, 12 minutes into the second half, was superb - while Rogers lifted a gear last night with some of his best form in a while. His kicking game was largely first-rate, while he made a critical tackle on fullback Brett Stewart.

    In Bailey's absence, Michael Henderson stood up; his broken leg last year never so far away after his performance last night. Hooker Nathan Friend was also tireless.

    Only problem was, they may have lost another forward. Mark Minichiello, who has been one of the Titans' best so far this season, limped off with seven minutes left. The club cannot afford to lose another outstanding forward.

    That they were right in the game until late was a credit to them. Rogers' 55th minute penalty put them two points in front, even after they trailed by six at half-time.

    Disaster struck, however, when Orford kicked and Brenton Bowen slipped, with Jamie Lyon picking up the scraps for the try. When David Williams did the same, running 95 metres to score, the contest was over. Stewart put the polish on an impressive team performance with a long-range try with five minutes remaining, and then a simply superb four-pointer following a flick by Orford with seconds remaining. The final scoreline hardly represented the closeness of the fixture. The Titans put up a real fight.

    MANLY 34 (B Stewart 2, S Bell, J Lyon, S Menzies, D Williams tries; M Orford 5 goals) bt GOLD COAST 14 (A Laffranchi 2 tries; M Rogers 3 goals) at Skilled Park.

    Referee: J Maxwell. Crowd: 21,374.
  2. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    Relentless Manly romp home against Titans

    MANLY solidified their position at the top of the NRL ladder tonight with a second half surge, downing a gallant Gold Coast 34-14 at Skilled Park.

    Despite a spirited first half from the injury-ravaged home side, Manly quashed any hopes of an upset by running home the final four tries, including two stunning long-range efforts from David Williams and Brett Stewart.

    At the 67th minute, Williams took off from dummy-half on his own line and ran 100 metres to score an amazing four-pointer after the Titans had been deep in attack.

    Eight minutes later Steve Menzies unselfishly allowed Stewart to take the points after both had left a series of Titans in their wake.

    The Manly fullback then put the final nail in the coffin with his second try, which came with just seconds to go in the match.

    Manly extended their winning streak to five with the victory and at the same time dealt another cruel blow to the Titans.
    Related Links

        * Picture gallery: best action snaps from the match

    It was the first time the Gold Coast have ever lost back-to-back games at what had become their fortress at Skilled Park.

    In front of 21,374 fans, Manly proved why they are one of the teams to beat with their class rising to the fore over the Titans, who were minus several key players.

    Casualties from Queensland's State of Origin win on Wednesday, co-captain Scott Prince and Ashley Harrison, were added to the Titans' already extensive injury list which includes co-captain Luke Bailey and Aaron Cannings.

    But backing up after his appearance for NSW in Origin III, Anthony Laffranchi was a shining light for the home side, scoring their only two tries tonight.

    Facing a similar slide to the one they experienced at the midway point of last season, the Titans came out firing and opened the scoring in the ninth minute to sound an early warning to the Sea Eagles.

    Manly held a delicate 12-6 lead at halftime but, after the Titans had briefly led 14-12, turned on the power after the break with four unanswered tries, the first to five-eighth Jamie Lyon, from the 63rd minute.
  3. Dan

    Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,742 /120
    the first article is ridiculous they spent so much time praising the titans, sure they hung in there but they lost by so points at the end of the day

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