Manly win as Menzies sets club record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly win as Menzies sets club record

By Todd Balym 15/06/2007 10:41:51 PM Comments (0)

Steve Menzies has claimed legend status at Manly and not even heavy showers, a lacklustre 14-2 NRL victory or a referee whinge by South Sydney coach Jason Taylor could rain on his parade.

Manly moved back to the top of the NRL table with the win over the Rabbitohs as only 7,341 fans turned out at Brookvale Oval to celebrate veteran Menzies break Cliff Lyon's club record games with his 310th first grade appearance.

And everything went according to script with Menzies, returning after 12 weeks out with a groin injury and pushed into the starting line up when centre Steve Matai pulled out, scoring perhaps the easiest of his 160 career tries with his first touch of the ball in the eighth minute.

The 33-year-old simply had to tap the ball down after Michael Robertson batted back Matt Orford's cross field kick.

"It was not one of the longest tries I have scored but it's always good to get the first one on the board," said Menzies, who was presented his jersey by Lyon in the sheds before kick off.

"It's an honour to have played this many games for Manly ... it's pretty much a dream for me to be able to play for the club of my choosing and been passionate about for my entire career, it's a big thrill."

Manly led 14-2 at halftime but couldn't put the Rabbitohs away in a dour second half as their rock solid defence didn't concede a try for the first time this year.

Even with a 9-4 penalty count in their favour, Manly couldn't take advantage of a tiring South Sydney team and twice refused to take a penalty shot at goal despite being well within range.

The 12-point buffer kept Souths in the contest, but they just could not find an elusive try as their attack again spluttered and final options butchered opportunities.

Ben Rogers went closest to scoring in the 68th minute, but the Souths five-eighth dummied to his support players instead of passing and Manly fullback Brett Stewart was able to produce a superb cover tackle.

Their other chance was denied by referee Steve Clark in the 21st minute after the whistleblower dubiously ruled the final pass from Rogers to David Fa'alogo to be forward.

Taylor said his side need to learn how to finish off plays but saved his biggest swipe for Clark and his referee colleagues, adding his belief that the Rabbitohs don't get equal treatment and he will seek a meeting with their boss Robert Finch.

"I feel like when we went to Melbourne (round 12) and Manly tonight the referee comes here thinking Souths are not going to beat Melbourne or Manly because that's how it's supposed to go," said Taylor, adamant the Rogers pass was not forward.

"I feel like we are getting a tough deal at the moment.

"We are trying to compete with the best teams and improve in areas of the game and we are getting penalised 5-1 in a half."

Stewart, just 48 hours after making his NSW Origin debut, continued his rise as a star to watch with another flawless display at the back and scored himself an easy try in the 32nd after superb flick passes in tackles by Orford and Adam Cuthbertson.

The custodian has now scored 36 tries from 37 games at Brookvale, proving like Menzies the Eagles have unearthed another tryscoring machine.

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