Sea Eagles too strong for Eels at Brookvale
The Manly Sea Eagles have produced a stunning second half performance to defeat the Dyldam Parramatta Eels in the final trial leading into the 2014 NRL season.
The Eels got the ball rolling in the first half, with Ken Sio scoring in the corner after some fancy footwork.
Mark O’Dare scored for the Sea Eagles, with the conversion also missed to tie things up at 4-4.
Playing against a predominantly NSW Cup-side, the Eels finished the first half strongly, with tries to Ryan Morgan, Ben Smith and John Folau, with Chris Sandow and Norman adding the extras.
At half-time the Eels were ahead 24-4, and then the superstars from both sides took the field, with Jarryd Hayne and Will Hopoate joining the Eels side, and Stewart, Foran, Cherry-Evans for Manly.
After 874 days away from an NRL game on a religious mission, Will Hopoate made a solid return to the field, setting up a try for Vai Toutai in his first touch of the football, to a mixture of cheers from the Blue and Golf Army and sighs form his former club.
Jorge Taufua fired up for the Sea Eagles, scoring two back to back tries after some quick passes out to the left edge.
A forward pass foiled him scoring a hat-trick, and also saw him leave the field for the night clutching his shoulder.
Matt Ballin added another six points for the home side, bringing the margin back to just two points.
A forward pass call ruined some magic from Jarryd Hayne to Willie Tonga, and a late try was scored by Jayden Hodges to put the Sea Eagles ahead.
Manly Sea Eagles 28 (Taufua 2, O’Dare, Ballin, Hodges tries; Cherry-Evans 3, Gutherson 1 conversion)
Parramatta Eels 24 (Sio, Morgan, Smith, Folau, Toutai tries; Sandow, Norman, Sio conversions)