Manly too strong for Cronulla - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly too strong for Cronulla

21/06/2003 10:19:38 PM Comments (0)

Fast finishing Manly overcame the dramatic loss of point-scoring whiz Ben Walker to deal Cronulla's National Rugby League finals hopes a devastating blow with a 36-18 win over the Sharks at Brookvale Oval.

The Sea Eagles scored six tries to three and piled up the last 18 points to break an 18-18 stalemate.

Manly played out the last 19 minutes and added a final 12 points without five-eighth Walker, who was stretchered off in a neck brace.

Walker was taken to Royal North Shore hospital after being knocked unconscious for seven minutes following an accidental knee in the neck by Cronulla prop Chris Beattie.

"He's got a pretty sore neck, although he's got movement in his hands," Manly coach Peter Sharp said.

The result ensured Manly would stay within one win of the eight after this weekend, but the Sharks will remain at least four points outside the playoff zone.

Asked if Cronulla could still make the finals, a candid Sharks coach Chris Anderson said "Not playing like that. We will have to improve our football a fair bit."

In a mistake riddled encounter, Manly conceded fewer than 30 points for the first time in seven rounds and finished off more clinically than the bumbling Sharks which bombed two tries in the second half through lamentable handling.

Winger Matt Rieck knocked on over the line in the 52nd minute and utility Michael Sullivan marred an otherwise impressive performance in the 63rd minute by dropping the ball after crossing the Manly stripe.

"When you do that and you drop it, it knocks your arse into orbit," Anderson said.

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