Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
Des Hasler's backs-to-the-wall mentality has paid off once again, with the Sea Eagles stunning the Sharks 28-16 to set up an intriguing semi-final fixture with South Sydney next week.
Much was made during the week of the home side's absences, with Tom Trbojevic, Martin Taupau, Curtis Sironen and Joel Thompson all sitting out Saturday's game.
But while everyone focussed on those who were missing, they forgot about the personnel Manly had at their disposal and one man in particular - a Queensland and Australian representative halfback.
Daly Cherry-Evans starred for Manly in the first half, setting up two tries while his kicking game was precise.
The same couldn't be said for Cronulla with Shaun Johnson kicking it dead twice in the first forty.
It may be harsh to focus on Johnson though as the Sharks side as a whole was poor, lacking the energy and enthusiasm needed to keep up.
Manly were a side brimming with the belief that they weren't getting from anywhere else.
Addin Fonua-Blake was also at his barnstorming best, running for just under 200 metres, scoring a try and busting seven tackles.
Fonua-Blake started strong, getting a quick play-the-ball to allow Apisai Koroisau to dart out of dummy-half and score the opener in the 8th minute.
A perfectly placed pass from Cherry-Evans then saw Suli surge over and the Manly halfback was at it again later when he put in a pinpoint kick for Brad Parker.
Cronulla eventually hit back when Wade Graham threw a beautiful ball for Bronson Xerri to score and they were first to score in the second half through Aaron Gray, giving their fans a faint glimmer of hope.
It was quickly extinguished though as Fonua-Blake charged past two Cronulla defenders to cap off a dominant individual effort without Taupau.
Both sides scrapped it out for the following 20 minutes before Brendan Elliot sliced through off a nice play involving DCE and Jack Gosiewski to seal the win.
Cronulla scored a brilliant late try through Josh Morris but it mattered little as the Lottoland faithful celebrated a famous win.
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28 - Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16
Halftime Score: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 18 Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 4
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Addin Fonua-Blake
2 points - Daly Cherry-Evans
1 points - Moses Suli
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (28)
Tries: Apisai Koroisau, Moses Suli, Brad Parker, Addin Fonua-Blake, Brendan Elliot
Conversions: Reuben Garrick (4/5)
CRONULLA-SUTHERLAND SHARKS (16)
Tries: Bronson Xerri, Aaron Gray, Josh Morris
Conversions: Shaun Johnson (2/3)