Two tries from Brett Stewart helped Manly to a crucial victory over the Wests Tigers at Brookvale Oval last night,
The bottom-placed side, bolstered by the return of Daly Cherry-Evans from Origin, and Stewart and Kieran Foran regaining form, proved too strong for Jason Taylor’s men.
Manly started the better side and opened the scoring when Stewart crossed for his first inside two minutes.
The Tigers were missing captain Robbie Farah but tries from Mitchell Moses and Pat Richards saw them lead 10-6 after 25 minutes.
Foran showed what his side will miss next season (if his transfer to Parramatta goes ahead) when he set up a Steve Matai try with a banana kick before racing 20 metres to score his own moments later, giving the Sea Eagles a commanding 18-10 lead at the break.
Playing at Brookvale for the first time since controversially turning his back on the Titans, Cherry-Evans bombed a great opportunity early in the second half, but soon redeemed himself with an impressive assist to give Stewart his 85th try at Brookvale, three short of Eagles legend Steve Menzies.
The Tigers scored twice in the second half through an acrobatic effort by Kevin Naiqama and another from Moses, but another Manly try, from forward Ligi Sao, thwarted any hope of a late comeback.
The 30-20 win takes pressure off beleaguered coach Geoff Toovey, but the 2011 premiers remain on the bottom of the table after 15 rounds. – Sam Pasfield
Top screenshot from Channel Nine live coverage.