Both teams came into this game in good form after recording wins in their previous outings, but without doubt both camps were keenly aware that the days result could go either way. There were a number of changes to the respective starting line ups, but overall each fielded strong teams.
The Magpies had the run of play and good field position for a majority of the first half, but could only cross the line on one occasion, and that was in the 8th minute. They received a penalty on the Sea Eagles try line and after taking the tap, the ball was passed across the backline to wing three quarter Taqele Naiyaravoro who scored the first of his two tries of the afternoon. With the conversion attempt being waved away, the scoreboard read Magpies 4 Sea Eagles 0.
The early signs were good for the boys from the West who looked certain to extend their lead, but at vital stages their attacking play broke down, despite making a number of clean breaks.
With 10 minutes left in the half, Manly certainly made Wests pay for not making the most of their chances. First, replacement Michael Oldfield crossed the line for a four pointer before Patrick Patelesio-Sipley registered a try of his own. Manly 10 Wests 4. With time running out, Ben Shorter crossed for a double which, combined with 2 conversions from Sione Ala took the home side to the sheds leading 20 points to 4.
The second half was a dour affair with both teams making a number of errors, but in the 19th minute Magpie player Taqele Nayiaravoro grabbed his second try reducing the Sea Eagles lead to 20 points to 8. Manly hit back soon after when Patrick Patelesio-Sipley claimed his double which put the game out of the Magpies reach. Manly ran out worthy winners 24 points to 8.
Scorers for the Magpies – Taqele Naiyaravoro 2 tries.
Leo’s best – David Harris and Josh Davis.
Player’s player – David Harris.
Next game – Round 13 Wests Magpies vs. Canterbury Bulldogs, 3pm Saturday 4 June 2011, Campbelltown Sports Stadium.