Manly crush hapless Bulldogs - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly crush hapless Bulldogs

By Steve Jancetic 04/06/2011 10:50:01 PM Comments (0)

Canterbury's struggles against the NRL elite reached a new low on Saturday night as rookie Manly halfback Daly Cherry-Evans put on a clinic in the Sea Eagles' 38-4 win at ANZ Stadium.

Without a win against any side in the NRL top six so far this season, this was something of a statement game for a Bulldogs outfit, desperate to stamp its mark on this year's premiership race.

But the only ones in blue and white to send any sort of message were the fans who bailed for the exits before the hour mark, as the Sea Eagles stretched their lead to 32-0 after Jamie Lyon's second try of the night.

Those fans would have to be applauded for lasting as long as they did as Cherry-Evans dismantled the Bulldogs over the opening 40 minutes, the hyphened one scoring one try and setting up two others for a 22-0 lead at the break.

Cherry-Evans was only given his crack at the NRL this year following the departure of Trent Hodkinson to the Bulldogs and, while the latter missed a rematch with his former club due to suspension, it's doubtful even he could have made any difference on Saturday night.

Canterbury didn't get a chance to miss Hodkinson's polish near the Manly tryline, as they struggled to get out of their own half for much of the night, their forward pack lacking bite and the outside backs not having any room to move.

The Sea Eagles on the other hand seemed to score at will, much of it off the back of Cherry-Evans who gave an indication of what was to come as he put George Rose over after eight minutes.

Lyon then scored his first as part of an 18-point haul for the night, before Cherry-Evans went over virtually untouched following a scrum win 10-metres out after a vicious step on Ben Barba.

The classy No.7 then did it with his defence, as he stole a ball from the grasp of Dene Halatau to set up David Williams for a four-pointer, the avalanche continuing after the restart as Will Hopoate just kept his backside in the field of play to score five minutes after the restart.

Things went from bad to worse as Kris Keating succumbed to a hamstring injury to force a major reshuffle for the Bulldogs, their lone bright spot being a long distance try to Barba 10 minutes from time.

Bulldogs coach Kevin Moore described the performance as his side's worst of the season, just a week after thinking they had turned the corner with a win over Gold Coast.

"Yeah, by far," Moore said when asked if this was a new low for 2011.

"I was disappointed with the game a couple of weeks ago against Canberra but I think aside from that we have been pretty consistent.

"Tonight I didn't see it coming ... it just wasn't good at all.

"We got totally dominated by a side that played very well and we were terrible."

While refusing to get carried away by the margin, even Manly coach Des Hasler was forced to admit this was one out of the box for the Sea Eagles.

"A performance like that tonight, you've just really got to take the positives out of it," Hasler said.

"You've got to be happy with 38 points. What was important was we came off last week's win and just came here tonight and (we were) really competent in our display."

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