Rugby League

Sea Eagles hold off persistent Storm to break losing streak

May 25, 2024 2:56 am

[Source: NRL]

The Sea Eagles broke a three-game losing streak with a thrilling 26-20 win against the Melbourne Storm at 4 Pines Park.

While it was at times chaotic ending to the match, it was a hard-fought tussle at the start, with the Sea Eagles having to earn their points despite dominating the field position and possession early.

The home side were the first on the board, kicking an early penalty goal with Reuben Garrick slotting the two points.

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After applying some pressure to the Storm, Ben Trbojevic scored the opening try of the game, with a good run onto a short ball from Luke Brooks, producing some good footwork on his way to the tryline.

The Sea Eagles then went bang-bang when Tommy Talau proved too strong, going over in the corner for a 12-0 lead.

However, while the Sea Eagles were dominant in the first half, with 55 percent of the possession and heaping pressure on the Storm, the visitors were able to go into the break trailing only 12-6, with a late try to Eliesa Katoa and conversion from Nick Meaney keeping them in touching distance.

It was a fiery opening to the second half with the rivals sides not taking a backward step, however, the aggressive intent backfired for Manly with Nathan Brown penalised when in possession.

However, it didn’t prove costly, with the Storm then forced into an error of their own. The Sea Eagles were able to extend their lead with a nice try to Jake Trbojevic who was set up by his skipper Daly Cherry-Evans with a tip-on play, with Garrick’s kick pushing the lead out to 16-6.

They were not able to get comfortable however, with Nick Meaney in the action, scoring a try, kicking a conversion and then stepping up on moments later to nail a penalty goal, once again drawing the Storm close to narrow the scores to 18-14.

With momentum seesawing, Talau extended the lead for his side once again, capitalising on back-to-back sets and ran in after a well-worked play along their backline.

Another successful penalty goal attempt – given for a high tackle – by Garrick had Manly push 12-points clear to lead 26-14 with under 10 minutes left to play.

As expected, the Storm were not easily shaken, with halfback Jahrome Hughes on his return from injury running in for a try. Hughes, who was partnering with Tyran Wishart in the halves with Cameron Munster out, was a beneficiary of some initial smart play at dummy half from Harry Grant and some good inside-outside passing from the Storm finding their man.

It was an error-riddled, but exciting, final moments of the game with both sides coughing up possession as the Storm chased points and the Sea Eagles looked to hold onto their lead.

A kick into the in-goal was fielded by debutant Lehi Hopoate, but still earned the Storm a drop-out and coupled with a six-again call, Melbourne went on the attack, but the desperate goal-line defence from Manly held strong to earn a 26-20 win.