Full Time
5:30pm Sat July 14, 2018
Round 18 - Lottoland - Crowd: 9277

Match Overview

The Storm have overcome a lethargic start to down the Sea Eagles 14-13 in a heated contest at Lottoland on Saturday night.

Both sides were missing a host of key players with Billy Slater, Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr and Felise Kaufusi all sitting out for Melbourne. Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles were without injured first graders Apisai Koroisau, Dylan Walker, Akuila Uate and Curtis Sironen.

However, Manly had their Origin trio backing up from Wednesday night's match and their energy seemed to be lifting the home side early. 

The Sea Eagles were first to strike in the 7th minute when Manase Fainu burst through the middle before linking with Shaun Lane who crashed over. 

The second rower had an early double when Cherry-Evans sent him barging over in the 11th minute. 

The home side were threatening to run away with it early, with starting props Martin Taupau and Addin Fonua-Blake picking up easy metres through the middle. 

However, points dried up and as a result Cherry-Evans opted for a penalty goal in the 26th minute to extend their lead to 12.  

The Storm finally hit back in the 33rd minute when a questionable offload by Curtis Scott sent Suliasi Vunivalu over for his seventh try from three games at Lottoland. 

A late field-goal from Cherry-Evans saw Manly head into the sheds with a 13-6 lead.

Melbourne's ill-discipline continued to let them down early in the second half, yet the Sea Eagles struggled to capitalise and were punished in the 48th minute when Brodie Croft strolled through to reduce the deficit to one. 

The away side looked to have found the lead in the 52nd minute when Scott crashed over, only for the try to be overruled by The Bunker after replays showed he dropped the ball. 

Melbourne finally found themselves in front in the 71st minute when a Cameron Smith penalty goal gave them a 14-13 lead.

In the end it would be enough, with Craig Bellamy's men holding on for a tense one-point win.

Next week the Storm look to consolidate their top four spot when they travel across the ditch to face the Warriors on Sunday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles host the Roosters in the following game the same afternoon.

3. Martin Taupau

The best of the bunch in a losing effort. Ran for 263 metres and made 25 tackles in a strong 57 minute effort.

2. Brodie Croft

Going to give it to Croft here. Forced two line dropouts tonight and controlled the game nicely with his kicking game.

1. Daly Cherry-Evans

Looks a renewed man after his standout display in Origin 3. Forced two dropouts, set up a try and led the Manly side around with poise.