Match Summary. Manly win 26-16

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Journey Man
[b:f1fe93b0f4]Manly 26 vs St George 16.[/b:f1fe93b0f4]

The Manly Sea Eagles have clean swept their trial games after beating the St George Dragons in Kiama tonight.

For Sea Eagles fans the highlight was the impressive return to the maroon and white by the irrepressible Terry Hill. Hill scored three tries and turned back the clock ten years by bullocking his way towards and over the line on three occasions to provide the difference between the two sides. Hill is yet to announce whether he will play this season but surely after a dominant display he’ll be looking at putting pen to paper later this week.

Other highlights of the match came from an impressive defensive display from the forwards to hold their own against a credentialed Dragons pack. They provided plenty of go forward and also swarmed in defense to keep their opponents on the back foot for much of the night.

Scott Donald also put in an impressive display. Always a man to watch in attack, it also looked as though he’s done a lot of work on his defense in the off season. He was ably backed up by Hicks.

Manly opened the scoring but were soon set back by some pin-point accurate kicks which yielded two 40/20 opportunities for the Dragons. Both kicks came because of a slow retreat by John Hopoate, surely a warning signal for coach Des Hasler as he looks at which combination to pick for the opening round against the Warriors. Hopate did adjust his game but Stacey Jones and Nathan Fien would have been watching with interest. The score at half time was 10 all.

The second half belonged to Terry Hill. In a vintage display he stamped his name all over one Manly Centre position in a game that will give fans hope about the prospects of our outside backs. The Dragons only scored one second half try, a credit to Manly’s defense and fitness.

Manly had a late try controversially disallowed when it was ruled that a Dragons player had been interfered with (and no, Hopoate’s fingers were not involved).

Most selection speculation over the next two weeks will fall on the hooking position. Randall set up one try but his service from dummy half was pedestrian at times and he still has a tendency to take several steps with the ball in hand and telegraphing his passing intentions to the opposition defensive line.

In contrast, Dunley was sharp during his time on the field. He mixed up his passing and running and kept the opposition defense in two minds.

Other impressive games came from the newly re-signed Jason King, Daniel Heckenberg, Sam Harris and Chris Hicks. New recruits Kennedy and Kite both had quiet nights.

The only injury worry for the Sea Eagles was Michael Witt who limped off the field just before half time. Early reports from the dressing rooms suggest that it is just a minor strain and will not affect his selection chances for the first round.

Speaking of which, the trials are over and the first game a matter of weeks away. It’s been a promising start from the Sea Eagles with an improved defenSe complementing our already potent attacking ability. Our team should be brimming with confidence as they look to cross the Tasman Sea for their first serious encounter for 2005.

And now I'd better spend some time with my lovely wife or I'll never be able to do a match report for you again!!!!!

Cheers all.
Any chance that someone could put that up over at ME? (I'm banned).

Might as well share the good news. Thanks.
In defence of Randall many hookers these days are coached to take a couple of steps before passing to commit the markers and keep them from getting out and hitting the receiver. Also by duckking out he gives himself the option of going himself if the markers drift too wide.
The report is done through the filter of Daniel, Ryan and Chuckwood. I'm going entirely off their comments from the game. They were just saying that Randall was getting caught a lot and throwing some bad passes too.

Could be AE coloured glasses too.
Thanks for picking up the sword on my behalf over at ME last night too biscuits. I saw the thread before it was deleted.

Much appreciated! :clap: :clap:
It's possible that head didn't play. Though I mentioned him earlier it in reference to his kicking game in general.

He has been very sick.
Everyone likes a bit of Head :wink: :wink: :wink:

Good report mata - im sure those down there will be filling the boards tomorrow.

What encourages me is that its not the big recruits who are going well - and we all know that they will go well. So we still have something up our sleeves.

The next 2 weeks are gonna kill me

mata you got the rest of the player profiles ready??
Good report Mata.....I put it up for you titled

"Matabeles match report!"

Good to see Tezza on fire!

Here's some additional perspective from the ground by Tawera Nikau's leg:

The report on AE says that Michael Witt was the only injury concern. I was at the game and Brett Stewart took a heavy high shot and was assisted from the field and did not return. Sounds like a concern to me. Monaghan injured an ankle and BK a hand altough both of these guys stayed on the field. The report says Hoppa was one of Manly's best in thefirst half. I put both of St. George Illawarra's first half tries to Hoppa being out of position and allowing 40/20 kicks by the Dragons. It also says that Kite was Quiet. I thought he had a strong game and his go forward was great. I think it also said the the most conjecture will be about who will be hooker in the team for the season proper. Chad Randall is a certainty. He also had a strong game last night. The most conjecture will be who is in the No. 5 jumper Hoppa had last night. Last night showed he is too slow for the wing position. Id give Adam Luchetti a shot at it.
Well I'll be damned. That was one hell of a great article to read mata. Full of positives and I came away feeling good because football's back on and we are right up their with a chance to go well.

It seems as though AE is the site taking the lead for supporting our club into the new season, whilst everyone else is more hell bent on proving us wrong.

Anyone who thinks they must justify their hate for AE by correcting matabeles work need to give themselves a slap.

Once again mats, thanks for the service you bring the fans. I don't know another bloke who puts in the effort you do to give us Manly blokes something to read, and their all top notch reads at that. :p
thats because Haig sees only the positive side.. you tell it like it is.. yet some people dont like hearing the 'negatives'.
Umm Hopa was most certainly NOT one of the best, i didnt read that in your report and if I said that then I have some serious issues with myself.

Hoppa absoulte worst on field. Definately worst. Like TWN said the 2 Dragins first half tries were entirely his fault. Teams will target him all year.and we shouldnt have to drop a player back on the second tackle he has to go. Though without sleek as a backup like last year not sure who go there, I can only think Creary would get a run.

Hill easily the standout player
Donalds defense has imprved ten fold and he has bulked up a bit

I was more than a bit drunk (shock huh?)
But I am pretty sure Stewart played the entire game, at least was there the whole first half.
Witt went off either late in the first or early in the second.

Willow also had a blinder when he came on and an alright kicking game too.

Monas was solid and did his job

Kennedy looked like he either didnt gel with the team or didnt want to get too involved, I guess thats because he does not like trials

Harris started a little slow but then started showing his potential as the game progressed, I think he might have a decent year this year

Hecks was good in defense and ran the ball forward well.

Hoppa did ok in attack, but his defense was terrible.

Hicks had a decent game, if he plays half as well as last year he will still have a great season

King is starting to improve and show some intensity

Witt started a little shaky looked a bit nervous but steadied pretty quickly

Dunley also on fire, defensively he is great and adds an extra attacking dimension from hooker, he also showed a lot of self control. Last year he blew up and hit out last night he stopped himself once or twice

Randall well i think many of you know that I dont rate him over dunley, he had moments last night especially for making the break to set up the first try and his little grubber kick to the in goal for the dissallowed try that was a try :roll:
He takes too many steps from dummy half, and often ends up getting in trouble because of it.

Minogue had a solid game but didnt stand out, nly 1 or 2 big hits.

Stewart had his usual blinder SOLID in defense, dangerous and illusive in attack

If i think of anything else I will put it up but last night is a bit fuzzy.
Felling very sorry for myself

oh highlights: Hill he was great and look forward to seeing him play again this season

manly defended really well around the ruck, 3 meen to each tackle and extremely solid in the middle of the park where we had problems last year. The only way the saints got into our half was through kicking.

Lowlights: Defense ont he light was ok but also shakey Hoppa is too slow
The redneck fashion, my god there were mullets everywhere
I got asked not to swear by some bogan redneck woman, and her husband looked rather embarrassed about it especially when i argued back.

Apparantly you cant swear at the footy these days, particularly when you are standing right near the beer shed :shock:
Also down there saying "Come on Hoppa get on your bloody man you dick head" is a bit strong for them.
Friggin bogans!.

very ammusing.

Still not convinced fully but there were some great signs there, great ones.
I think the game was a good one to show our true form, and there were a lot of individuals who looked like they were trying. of course the coaching staff will have got a lot from it
I can say it once, or I can say it 1000 times, FLICK Hoppa slot Hicks on the wing and pick Steppa. FLICK Hoppa slot Hicks on the wing and pick Steppa. FLICK Hoppa..............

Anyway you get the point. I'm afraid though that Dessie doesn't. This is the only position I am really passionate about I know that the rest will be picked pretty on the spot.

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