Five unanswered tries by the Gold Coast Titans was too much for Manly to handle as Garth Brennan’s men responded to calls from their coach to show more starch in a 36-18 win at Lottoland on Friday night.
It was the perfect comeback from the players after the Titans board just 24 hours earlier announced a review into the football department after a 2-8 start to the season.
But the third win for 2019 was a beauty, engineered by five-eighth Tyrone Roberts, with two line-breaks, two try assists and two four-pointers himself. Add in a hat-trick from Dale Copley, and it was the sort of free-flowing attack that the Titans have been promising for some time.
The Sea Eagles were aiming to record their fourth straight win at Lottoland this season. But after taking a 12-0 lead early, they seemed powerless to stop the Titans once they sharpened their swords and got going.
Match: Sea Eagles v Titans
Round 11 -
Venue: Lottoland, Sydney
The visitors didn’t hit the lead until Copley scored in the 47th minute. But then they just kept adding to the scoreboard.
Tries by Copley (three), AJ Brimson and Roberts pushed the score out to 26-12 before the Sea Eagles got themselves back in the contest with a Brad Parker try.
It might have been an upset in the scheme of things this year – the Sea Eagles had won six of their past eight games – but the Titans beat Manly twice in 2018.
Brimson wins the race
For Des Hasler’s men, it wasn’t their most disciplined night giving away nine penalties. But on most occasions they were just simply out-played.
It was two tries apiece in the first half.
Jorge Taufua opened Manly’s scoring with a try in the sixth minute – his eighth try in nine games against the Titans. It was off the back of a 50 metre-intercept run by former Titan Kane Elgey, who snaffled a flick pass by Tyrone Roberts.
Manly had defended their line well for a couple of sets but only needed one invitation inside the Titans red zone to produce points.
The scoreboard stalled for a period as two Anthony Don crossings were near-misses, and then an Elgey try was disallowed because Dylan Walker was off-side.
But the former Origin centre, in just his second game back after 10 weeks on the sideline, offered the try assist for his winger Reuben Garrick to score in the 20th minute.
Walker scooped up a loose ball close to his own line and sprinted 30 metres before his lungs began to burn. So he passed to a looming Garrick who finished off the try with a 65-metre dash. It was 12-0 with a quarter of the game over and you could feel Manly’s confidence from the grandstand.
But how quickly things can turn. The first two Titans tries to Copley and AJ Brimson came within four minutes of each other for the visitors to trail 12-10 at the break.
The Titans kept the momentum going throughout the second half and now take some renewed belief back home to Cbus Stadium next weekend to play the Cowboys.