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NRL: Sea Eagles snap three-match losing streak against Storm

Manly Sea Eagles defeat Melbourne Storm

The Manly Sea Eagles have snapped their month-long losing streak in emphatic fashion, defeating the second-placed Melbourne Storm 26-20 on Friday night in the NRL.

Online Bookmakers were predicting a Storm win in round 12, but the Sea Eagles had other ideas. The visitors raced out to a 12-0 lead, before a second half arm-wrestle saw Manly hold off Melbourne in a tight finish.

Despite the close scoreline, it was a poor performance from the Storm. They looked like a shadow of the team that piled 48 points on the Eels last weekend, persistently committing errors and failing to execute across the match.

Sea Eagles dominate early, survive late

NRL bookmakers had Melbourne at a -3.5 handicap and -125 favourites to win this match, but that mattered little. The opening hour of the clash was all Manly.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Sea Eagles crossed twice in quick succession to take a commanding lead. Ben Trbojevic scored first, followed by Tommy Talau just minutes later.

Melbourne struck back with a try to Eliesa Katoa before half time, but further scores to Jake Trbojevic and Talau again saw the victors well ahead at 26-14 with six minutes left to play. However, a Storm comeback almost spoiled the party for the Manly Sea Eagles.

First, Jahrome Hughes scored to make it a six-point margin. Then, Melbourne had three back-to-back sets in Manly’s half, putting their defensive unit under serious pressure.

It stood up to the challenge, however, with the Sea Eagles holding out and closing the match 26-20.

Coach Bellamy unhappy with short turnaround

In the aftermath of their loss, Storm coach Craig Bellamy expressed his disdain for the side’s five-day turnaround.

“It doesn’t help. The preparation was short,” said the veteran coach. “I’m not quite sure with the Thursday night games why there are still five-day turnarounds or as many.

Melbourne played the Eels at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane last Sunday afternoon, with Bellamy unhappy that they had to travel again on Friday to Sydney.
“I think we can handle five-day turnarounds okay if one of the games are at home, but we had two away and had to travel twice.

“That’s not whinging about it but for me, if you have a five-day turnaround, one of those have to be at home.”

Bellamy will have plenty of time to lick his wounds now, with the club heading into a bye next weekend. Manly also have the week off, having just scraped their way into the top eight courtesy of Friday’s win.

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