Brett Kimmorley’s first game as Tigers coach turned into a nightmare when Brent Naden was sent off for a dangerous tackle in a 30-4 loss to the Sea Eagles at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday.
Naden lifted Jake Trbojevic above the horizontal and drove him into the ground 65 minutes into the game, receiving his marching orders from referee Peter Gough.
The star for Manly was the Blues hopeful Haumole Olakau’atu, who scored a try and had 11 tackle breaks as the Sea Eagles turned a narrow 6-4 lead at half time to their seventh win of the season.
The Tigers got off to a quick start as Naden crossed the line in the 13th minute, but replays showed he had lost the ball trying to get it away.
Five minutes later, the home side had to pay for wasting that opportunity when Trbojevic turned a ball back in so that Josh Aloiai passed for the opening four-pointer of the game.
Garner reacts if Ofahengaue cannot be stopped
Back-to-back errors by Luciano Leuila gave Manly field position on the half hour, but a forward pass from Josh Schuster to Jason Saab saw the opportunity beg.
The Tigers opened their account in the 35th minute when Joe Ofahengaue took the ball to the line and slid an offload to Luke Brooks who found Kelma Tuilagi and pushed the bench forward to Luke Garner who scored.
Brooks then opened the door for Manly when he kicked full force in the 38th minute, but the Tigers made up for it five-eighth by trapping a Kieran Foran grabber and defusing the situation.
Olakau’atu cannot be stopped
After a stampede from Olakau’atu that sent the Sea Eagles into the attack 14 minutes into the second half, Reuben Garrick cut through on the right-hand side to give Manly a 12-4 lead.
There was more to expect from the Tongan enforcer in the 62nd minute as he left James Tamou and Naden in tow to storm over at close range.
The afternoon went from bad to worse after 65 minutes when he was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Trbojevic.
A penalty goal for Garrick in the 67th minute extended Manly’s lead to 18-4 and the two league points were in for Des Hasler’s men.
Young cannon Tolutau Koula then produced a dizzying burst of speed from his own side midway through to catch the first attempt of his career and Aloiai made a double as Manly rubbed salt into the wounds.
Brent Naden sent off for dangerous tackle
- Tigers center Brent Naden was headbutted 30 minutes into the game when he tried to tackle Haumole Olakau’atu and was sent off for an HIA which he passed.
- Male powerhouse Haumole Olakau’atu claimed a Blues Origin call-up with 16 runs for 163 yards and 11 tackle breaks and a crucial one-on-one steal.
- Jake Trbojevic got through a force of work on defense for the Sea Eagles with 38 tackles.
- The Tigers have lost their last four games at Campbelltown Stadium.
- Brent Naden became the first Tigers player to be ejected since Corey Pearson in 2002.
- The Tigers had only 44 percent of the ball and completed on 72 percent.
- Male fullback Reuben Garrick brought his season total to 126 points with a try and five goals. Garrick has now scored seven goals in his last six games.
Game of the game
Male forward Josh Aloiai owed it to Jake Trbojevic for taking the 13 try of his 115-game career in the 18th minute. Reminding the NSW selectors of his value as a ball player, Trbojevic went to the line and turned a clean pass back in for Aloiai to crash. With the Manly pack well and truly winning the yardage battle over their Tigers opponents, Aloiai earned 207 yards from 20 runs and the first try double of his career.
Aloiai opens the scoring for Manly
what they said
“That was one of our better wins of the year. That was a very difficult game. It was always going to be a difficult game, both from the point of view of the change [of coach] the Tigers had early in the week and they got really engaged. It was a really tough game for us and I’m really proud of the way those guys did it. We played really disciplined footy. We’ve worked really hard on our stance with possession and we’ve been pretty decent in that regard.” – Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler
Sea Eagles: Round 14
“Our priority area is to make sure we stick together. We are going through a very difficult time as a club. It is clear that we are not going to make decisions quickly, we are not going to be one of the top clubs right away. The reason why the decision? [to sack Michael Maguire] was made last week was because things weren’t going so well. I’ve talked to the players and told them that it’s up to the coaches to coach them as much as possible, to get training plans and make us feel like we’re improving them step by step. Unfortunately, there is no quick solution for this.” – Interim coach Brett Kimmorley of Wests Tigers
Wests Tigers: Round 14
The Tigers face the Bulldogs for the second time in a month and are hoping to repeat the dose after a 36-22 win over Leichhardt Oval in Round 11.
The Sea Eagles are home Friday night against the Cowboys at 4 Pines Park. Manly is four of four on their home deck in 2022.
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