Manly defeated Melbourne Storm 4-24 at AAMI Park today in one of the most controversial matches of the season, which saw Storm centre Curtis Scott sent off early in the second half for throwing a punch at Manly stand-off Dylan Walker, while there were also four sinbins during the game, with controversy also occurring when Manly hooker Apisai Koroisau returning to the field after only eight minutes instead of the regulation ten.
The drama came after a largely uneventful first half, when the score was just 22 after Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster swapped penalties.
The Storm took the lead when Munster landed a penalty early in the second half, but then Matthew Wright scored a sensational try just inside the corner lines when he followed up a Cherry-Evans kick, with Cherry-Evans missing the conversion.
But it all blew up in the 52nd minute when Scott and Walker had a major disagreement and the Melbourne player lashed out. After a period of deliberation he was dismissed by referee Henry Perenara, while Walker was sinbinned and Koroisau, who also threw a punch, was also sinbinned.
But by now the Sea Eagles had the bit between their teeth, and Aquila Uate scored in the left corner to give them a 4-10 lead. Tom Trbojevic and Moses Suli added further tries, while Trent Hodkinson added two penalties to complete a remarkable revival for the Sea Eagles after their trials earlier in the season.
Storm: 1 Billy Slater, 2 Suliasi Vunivalu, 3 Will Chambers, 4 Curtis Scott, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Ryley Jacks, 8 Christian Welch, 9 Brandon Smith, 10 Nelson Asofa-Solomona, 11 Felise Kaufusi, 12 Ryan Hoffman, 13 Dale Finucane; Interchange: 14 Tim Glasby, 15 Kenny Bromwich, 16 Joe Stimson, 20 Harry Grant
Goals: Munster 2
Sea Eagles: 1 Tom Trbojevic, 2 Matthew Wright, 3 Moses Suli, 4 Brian Kelly, 5 Akuila Uate, 6 Dylan Walker, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8 Addin Fonua-Blake, 9 Apisai Koroisau, 10 Martin Taupau, 11 Joel Thompson, 12 Shaun Lane, 13 Jake Trbojevic; Interchange: 14 Trent Hodkinson, 15 Frank Winterstein, 16 Lloyd Perrett, 17 Toafofoa Sipley
Tries: Wright, Uate, T Trbojevic, Suli; Goals: Cherry-Evans, Hodkinson 3
Full coverage of all the weekend’s NRL action will feature in Monday’s edition of League Express