Manly finishes season on a high - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly finishes season on a high

05/09/2004 05:40:21 PM Comments (0)

Manly finished its disappointing NRL season on a high note with a 30-28 victory over a depleted Melbourne at Brookvale Oval.

Manly centre Albert Torrens bagged two tries, but was also placed on report for an elbow to the head of centre Steve Bell. He could also be in strife for a lifting tackle on Storm stand-in captain Rodney Howe.

With one eye on Saturday's qualifying final against Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium, Storm coach Craig Bellamy rested four key players.

Bellamy didn't want to take any unnecessary risks as the Storm needed to win by more than 40 points to leapfrog St George Illawarra into fifth spot.

Fullback Billy Slater, halfback Matt Orford, prop Robbie Kearns and skipper Stephen Kearney were all given an extra week's break.

It made for a poor spectacle against the 13th-placed Sea Eagles, who were aiming for their fourth straight victory at their home ground.

Storm pair Scott Hill and Bell both scored two tries apiece for the visitors while halfback Cooper Cronk filled in well for Orford.

The Sea Eagles led 14-4 at halftime following a brace of tries to St George Illawarra-bound Torrens (10m, 28m) and one to backrower Glenn Stewart in the 16th minute.

Torrens' second try was controversially awarded by video referee Paul Simpkins, who ruled Storm winger Matt King had knocked the ball out of the Manly centre's hands but that Torrens had grounded it with his torso.

Six minutes later the Storm put opened their account through centre Steve Bell, who scored off a Ben MacDougall grubber to leave the visitors trailing 14-4.

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