Manly beats Cronulla in NRL trial - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly beats Cronulla in NRL trial

By Ben Horne 12/02/2010 11:22:51 PM Comments (0)

Manly five-eighth Jamie Lyon put his hand up to be his team's new leader following a dominant performance in their 18-4 NRL trial win over Cronulla at Toyota Stadium.

A significant hole has been left in the Sea Eagles' line-up following premiership-winning captain Matt Orford's departure to England, but Lyon showed he is more than capable of taking over playmaking duties, setting up two second-half tries.

Rookie Keiran Foran and promising youngster Trent Hodkinson shared the halfback role during the hit-out, but it was Lyon who handled most of the kicking and playmaking responsibilities during his 40 minutes on the field.

Lyon has been mentioned as a possible co-captain for Manly this year, with the NSW Origin star seemingly rising to the challenge of a leadership role.

He came up with a piece of brilliance for Manly's second try early in the third quarter.

The former Test star tried a short kick, only to have it rebound off a Sharks defender and back into his hands, flicking a clever ball out the back to Glenn Stewart, who sent big centre Tony Williams over out wide.

In the 50th minute, Lyon was involved again when he kicked across field for left centre Dean Whare to score for his new club after shifting from the Dragons.

Cronulla and Manly used a lot of younger and inexperienced players in the first two quarters, with the big guns turning out for the final two periods.

Sea Eagles fullback Brett Stewart turned out for the second half and had some nice touches from the back, including a miraculous one-handed flick pass through his legs.

In the 58th minute a scuffle broke out after Stewart was tackled heavily into his own goal-posts.

After taking a Trent Barrett bomb, Stewart was forced heavily into the padding, with players coming together for a brief period.

Minutes later the frustration boiled over, with Cronulla prop Kade Snowden punching on with counterpart Josh Perry after a play-the-ball.

Snowden was sin-binned, but the Sharks were allowed to keep 13 players on the field.

The Sea Eagles looked reasonably fluent in the wet conditions, while Cronulla struggled, with a Ben Pomeroy consolation try with 10 minutes remaining their only joy.

Manly coach Des Hasler said the 2008 champions were well positioned to handle Orford's departure through Lyon, Hodkinson and Foran.

"We're fortunate we've got young Trent and Keiran as well, so we're pretty well covered there," he said.

"It was ok, it was just a trial. We had a lot of players getting the off-season cobwebs out, the boys have just done a really long off-season so they were just keen to play.

"The conditions were pretty tough."

Cronulla's loss was worsened by two injuries to their outside backs.

Wests Tigers recruit Dean Collis hyperextended his right knee, but is expected back for round one.

While 19-year-old NRL hopeful Stewart Mills had to be stretchered off in the first half after damaging his right knee and his season could be over before it even began.

Sharks coach Ricky Stuart said the conditions made the trial difficult to gauge.

"It was good actually, both teams were able to release a little bit of tension from the off-season," Stuart said.

"You could tell there was a trend of wanting to play dry weather footy and it was a bit disappointing for us that we didn't get any opportunity with the footy, especially in that second forty."

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