AAP Rugby

Garrick hat-trick, Manly down Eels in NRL

By AAP Newswire

Manly have signalled their top four intentions in the NRL with a resounding 36-24 victory over Parramatta at Lottoland.

The Sea Eagles were 12-6 down after 15 minutes on Sunday but raced in the next seven tries to make a mockery of the fifth-versus-sixth contest.

Winger Reuben Garrick continued his impressive rookie season by picking up his first career hat-trick before finishing with a 20-point individual haul.

"He's having a really good year, Reub, considering it's his first year. So we're managing that," Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler said post-game.

"The first 60, I thought we were pretty good and we lost our way in that second half. We need to fix that, but they're things we can fix and think we can work on.

"But it was important that we come out (with) a pretty good performance."

Garrick was backed up by star Tom Trbojevic, who ran a game-high 250 metres, set up a try and scored one himself in yet another scintillating performance.

The victory stretches Trbojevic unbeaten run this year to eight games - six in the NRL and two representing NSW in their State of Origin triumph.

The win also consolidates the Sea Eagles' grip on fifth spot on 22 points, two behind the third-placed Sydney Roosters and Canberra in fourth.

It also sets up a tantalising road trip to face ladder leaders Melbourne on Saturday.

For the Eels, the surprisingly insipid defeat ends a three-game winning streak and raises questions about their ability as a finals force.

The healthy crowd of 15,245 looked set to be in for a hard-fought contest when Parramatta responded quickly to Garrick's opening try for Manly.

First, it was debutant Ethan Parry who scored with the second touch of his NRL career, while Mitchell Moses produced a 40-20 and grubber for Brad Takairangi.

But the mini-fightback was shortlived.

The Eels' middle melted against a white-hot Sea Eagles attack who showed no remorse against their arch rivals.

Daly Cherry-Evans, Brad Parker, Trbojevic and Addin-Fonua Blake all crossed in an 11-minute blitz to stun the visitors.

The highlight was easily Trbojevic's mid-air steal from Clint Gutherson off a Daly Cherry-Evans bomb in the 27th minute.

At halftime, the Sea Eagles' 955 metres gained was more than double the Eels' 437, while also forcing 18 missed tackles to just two.

Garrick completed his hat-trick with two tries after the break, before Manly clocked off and allowed two consolation tries to Nathan Brown and Maika Sivo.

"It was a step backwards - just our start. I'm not sure why we didn't have any intent from the start," Eels coach Brad Arthur said.

"We got run over through the middle - everyone could see that. But it was why. Why did we have that attitude?

"I think it might've been 55-60 minutes in before we started to get off the line and actually commit to our contact, which was not good enough."