Sea Eagles outclass Wests Tigers 34-4 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sea Eagles outclass Wests Tigers 34-4

By Philip Henderson 13/07/2007 11:08:39 PM Comments (0)

He had plenty of reason to fire back, but Manly coach Des Hasler refused to bite after his Sea Eagles made of mockery of claims they were the NRL's most over-rated club.

Manly thumped fellow competition high-flyers Wests Tigers 34-4 at Brookvale Oval with Jamie Lyon, voted the most over-rated player in the same players' poll, starring in the second half.

Hasler brushed off questions about his team's tag in the annual Rugby League Week poll after the match.

But without prompting said at the end of the press conference: "I will say one thing on Jamie Lyon, never knock a champion."

Lyon, who returned to the NRL this year after two seasons in the English Super League, did not want to speak after the game, but received plenty of praise from Sea Eagles veteran Steve Menzies, whose two second-half tries were both set-up by the five-eighth.

"All the guys rate Killer (Lyon) as a great player and he showed just a small sample of what he can do tonight," said Menzies, who will meet with club officials next week to try to finalise a deal to remain at Manly for his 16th season next year.

"We didn't want to make a big deal out of the poll, it was always going to be a big game regardless of what the players' poll said. We had a pretty disappointing month of football up until last week, so it was important for us to get back on track."

After suffering their first back-to-back losses in 2007 last month, the Sea Eagles have now outscored the Sydney Roosters and Tigers 90-4 over the past two weeks to put pressure back on league leaders Melbourne for the minor premiership.

The Sea Eagles ran in 28 unanswered points in the final 42 minutes against a disappointing Tigers outfit which coach Tim Sheens branded "brain dead" in attack.

The emphatic win was made all the more impressive given the Sea Eagles' injury toll.

Queensland Origin centre Steve Bell played just 13 minutes before coming off with a corked thigh while Anthony Watmough (ankle), Glenn Stewart (cork) and Brent Kite (bruised hip) all struggled.

In-form Prop Jason King (knee, 4-6 weeks) and utility Travis Burns (back) were both ruled out of the game before kick-off, with Menzies only given the green light to play after a fitness test on his calf.

Hooker Michael Monaghan gave the home side a 12-4 lead at the break after setting up the opening try to back-rower Stewart and then scoring himself two minutes from half-time.

They all but sealed victory in the 44th minute when Lyon sent Menzies over for his first four-pointer.

But just to ram home the point, Lyon handed Menzies his second six minutes later by breaking through the Tigers' defensive line and throwing a flick pass to the 33-year-old.

Interchange forward Adam Cuthbertson then capped a superb individual game by setting up Manly's final two tries - to winger Michael Robertson and then prop Mark Bryant.

The Tigers' only real bright spot came in the 32nd minute when Stuart Flanagan, with one of his first touches in the match, scored a fantastic 55-metre try.

The 20-year-old back-up hooker darted out of dummy-half, broke through some flimsy Sea Eagles defence, and then out-sprinted speedy Manly fullback Brett Stewart to touch down.

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