Manly easily account for Titans, 34-14 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly easily account for Titans, 34-14

04/07/2008 11:03:51 PM Comments (0)

Manly solidified their position at the top of the NRL ladder 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.

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.

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.

Manly coach Des Hasler made light of reports this week his players had used a substance made partly of calves blood to help them overcome injury.

"We're moo-ving along," he joked.

The coach said it was only in the final minutes that Manly had finally proved the point they'd been trying to make all night.

"We were pretty ugly for at least 60-65 minutes there, but able to rally enough to get home with the points," he said.

"We just need to be able to pick up our discipline, and pick up those parts of the game where you really just have to stay in the arm wrestle and win the arm wrestles.

"They're the little parts of the game, the little sequences that are really important."

Titans coach John Cartwright said a win had been gettable for his side before Manly's four-try blitz.

"I'm just really disappointed that last 10 minutes, we were still a chance to win that game with 10 minutes to go," he said.

"We've just got no excuse and we're nowhere near a top side when we concede points like that.

"It's just a couple of basic errors and just some intensity for the 80 minutes, that's the difference between the top sides and the rest of us."

Manly's Steve Matai will be in doubt for next week after being taken to hospital late in the game with bleeding to the lungs.

The Titans' Mark Minichiello also left the field late in the match with an ankle injury.

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