Highlights: Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles (Rd 14)
The Manly Sea Eagles notched back-to-back victories with a convincing 16-point victory against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown Stadium.
Jayden Hodges and Michael Chee Kam were simply outstanding for Manly, who now sit one win outside the top eight.
Wests Tigers jumped out to an early 12-0 lead before suffering their fourth-straight loss.
It was another promising start for the home side with Delouise Hoeter crossing for impressive back-to-back tries as Wests Tigers seized a 12-point advantage after 13 minutes.
The Sea Eagles hit back to level the scores 12-all at halftime after earning multiple repeat sets to pressure Wests Tiger’s try line.
Chee Kam broke the line before passing to Delroy Berryman to cross under the posts and cut the deficit to 12-6.
Just before halftime, Hodges fooled everyone to score a well-deserved try after a simple dummy from the play-the-ball to tie the scores.
Both sides traded blows to open the second half at a blistering pace. However, with Hodges steering the attack and Chee Kam continuing his strong season form, the Sea Eagles began to gain the ascendency.
Chee Kam offloaded a superb ball on Wests Tigers’ tryline for Hodges to claim his second try as the Sea Eagles hit the front with 30 minutes remaining.
Five minutes later, Josh Drinkwater responded with a pinpoint grubber kick for Kurtis Rowe to outrace everyone and ground the ball centimetres from the deadball line with the scores level at 18-all.
Substituting NRL-first grader Feleti Mateo, who returned from injury, into five-eighth for added defence with 20 minutes left proved to be a masterstroke for the Sea Eagles who stormed away to score 16-unanswered points.
Siosaia Vave found Chee Kam at the line for the Sea Eagles to regain a 24-18 lead with 20 minutes remaining. Chee Kam then threw a remarkable cut-out pass for Berryman to bag his try double as the Sea Eagles took a commanding 28-18 lead with 10 minutes left.
Fittingly, the two best players on the day combined as Hodges grubbered across field for Chee Kam to pounce and score his second try before the eventual 34-18 final scoreline.
Next Saturday, Manly will aim for three wins on the trot as they face fifth-placed Wyong Roos at Brookvale Oval while Wests Tigers are desperate to avoid their fifth-straight defeat against Newcastle Knights at Leichhardt Oval.
Manly Sea Eagles 34 (D Berryman 2, J Hodges 2, M Chee Kam 2 tries; K Aldridge 4, M Rudolph goals) bt Wests Tigers 18 (D Hoeter 2, K Rowe tries; J Drinkwater 3 goals)