Manly run riot to hammer Warriors 52-6 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Manly run riot to hammer Warriors 52-6

By Philip Henderson 31/03/2008 10:19:01 PM Comments (0)

Manly skipper Matt Orford ran riot as the Sea Eagles bounced back to form with a record 52-6 victory over the New Zealand Warriors at Brookvale Oval.

Michael Robertson and Brett Stewart both scored hat-tricks as last year's grand finalists, after back-to-back defeats to open 2008, broke their duck in emphatic fashion with a 10-tries-to-one pummelling of a hapless Warriors.

The 48-point hammering easily eclipsed the Sea Eagles' previous biggest winning margin against the Warriors of 26 points, with Manly showing they will again be a premiership force this season after a shaky start to the year.

Halfback Orford was superb, scoring one try, setting up two more with centimetre perfect grubber kicks and then throwing the final pass for both of Anthony Watmough's touchdowns.

In total, the battle-hardened No.7 ended the night with 16 points, booting six from eight conversions, before receiving a great ovation from the 10,000-plus crowd as he left the field 10 minutes from fulltime.

Jamie Lyon also thrived in the centres for the home side after being shifted back from five-eighth to his preferred position, with the Sea Eagles dynamite all over the park.

The Warriors, meanwhile, were mighty disappointing after their impressive win over Parramatta last week.

New Zealand had been one of the few clubs to enjoy some success at Brookvale in recent years, winning four of the past six meetings at the venue.

But after a promising start, the visitors hardly looked like challenging after Stewart's opener in the 16th minute.

Manly led 16-0 after 27 minutes and then 22-6 at the half, before streaking away with six tries in the second period.

Winger Robertson scored two in three minutes midway through the first half, before pocketing his hat-trick in the 71st minute to end a 11-game drought in style.

Fullback Stewart made it 43 in 41 games at Brookvale with his three, while also passing Graham Eadie's record of tries for a Manly fullback (73).

Manly coach Des Hasler said Orford's performance showed he deserved first crack at the NSW No.7 for this year's State of Origin after a weekend report claimed Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah was being considered for the role.

"I saw a story in the week saying Robbie Farah was being mooted as a possible halfback for State of Origin ... and it's probably an insult to this bloke," Hasler said of Orford.

"I think this fellow sitting here put his hand up well and truly tonight. I don't think there's too many better seven's running around."

After going down by six to Cronulla and then a point to Newcastle in the opening rounds, Hasler said his side deserved their win.

He also said the fine display by Steve Menzies at five-eighth - and Lyon's performance in the centres - didn't necessarily mean Lyon won't revert to pivot next week.

Hasler's problems, though, would seem minor to those faced by Warriors counterpart Ivan Cleary.

The shell-shocked Warriors coach admitted he didn't see tonight's capitulation coming.

"It's just got to be struck off tonight," Cleary said of the loss, the third biggest in the Warriors history.

"I've never had one like that before. Never been involved in anything like it.

"I didn't see it coming and it's a little hard to explain.

"That's not us. I'm very disappointed for everyone involved with the club to have to sit and go through that, but I've got a lot of faith in this team and ... we'll make up for next week."

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