Manly beat Tigers 38-20 in fiery clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly beat Tigers 38-20 in fiery clash

By Adrian Warren 25/07/2010 08:22:37 PM Comments (0)

Manly coach Des Hasler lauded the courage of his side after they came from behind to beat Wests Tigers 38-20 in a fiery and at times controversial NRL clash in Gosford on Sunday.

Down 8-0 early, Manly were sparked by a 22-point performance from centre and captain Jamie Lyon and survived the 35th-minute sin-binning of centre Steve Matai.

Manly scored six tries to four with Lyon bagging a double and kicking seven goals from as many attempts in front in front of a ground-record-equalling crowd of 20,059.

Some fans were even turned away from the packed out Bluetongue Stadium.

Matai was put on report for an alleged high tackle on Tigers hooker and captain Robbie Farah.

The New Zealand international gave Farah a slap on the back while he was getting treatment, which Tigers lock Chris Heighington took exception to and a brief scuffle between the two resulted in Matai getting binned.

Hasler and his players felt there was little in Matai's challenge and there was a suggestion from some quarters that Farah may have milked the incident.

"It might have been a bit of gamesmanship, but I didn't think there was a lot in it," Manly winger Michael Robertson told reporters.

Farah was adamant he hadn't taken a dive.

"No chance, I wouldn't take a dive, he (Matai) got me pretty good," Farah said.

"I don't think I went too well in the second half, so you could tell by performance that I wasn't taking a dive."

The Tigers dominated early possession and territory statistics, with a Heighington try and two goals to five-eighth Benji Marshall rewarding them for their early pressure.

Manly piled on 18 points in 12 first-half minutes to take control through converted tries to second rower Shane Rodney, five-eighth Kieran Foran and Lyon.

"In the first 15 to 18 minutes, they had at least 60 per cent possession and we just had to hang in there," Hasler said.

"To come back from that and to push back and win the arm wrestle I thought the side showed plenty of courage today."

Manly were up 24-12 at the break and the Tigers got within six points early in the second half, but there was to be no repeat of their first-round comeback against the Sea Eagles.

Lyon effectively closed the door with his second try, which came from a great leap following a cross-field bomb by the impressive Foran.

Lote Tuqiri, who was hurt trying to defuse a bomb, smashed his way over for his 12th try of the season to reduce the deficit to 10 points with 20 minutes remaining.

The Sea Eagles secured the points when Trent Hodkinson and forward Brent Kite set up fullback Ben Farrar for a 67th-minute try.

Tigers coach Tim Sheens pointed out his team were still without several injured players but would need to improve if they met Manly in the finals.

Together with five-eighth Benji Marshall, Sheens blamed poor defence for their defeat.

"Defence let us down today, we know we can score it's just a matter of stopping them," Marshall said. "We practiced everything that they were going to throw at us and they did exactly that and we still couldn't defend it, so it's disappointing."

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