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Sharks break 14 years of losses at Brookie with 34-point hammering of Sea Eagles




Nicho Hynes has helped his Sharks break a 14-year drought at Brookvale, with a huge 40-6 win against the Sea Eagles on Saturday night.

Manly had beaten Cronulla in every meeting on home soil since 2008, but tonight that record was finally broken in the 34 point victory.

Hynes and his teammates not only humiliated Manly on their member’s appreciation day, but also spoilt the party of departing Sea Eagle Kieran Foran, who was hoping for a win in his last game in front of a Manly crowd.

With the Sea Eagles’ final two games of the season on the road, the next time Foran plays at 4 Pines Park he will be a Gold Coast Titan.

The Sharks half-back was once again close to perfect. His kicking game was influential, he made two line breaks, crossed for two tries, had a hand in another two, and converted 5/6.

Nicho Hynes (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Sharks started the try frenzy early, when a Matt Moylan kick bounced off the goalpost pads and was picked up by Hynes to score.

With the Sharks already missing a number of players to injury, fans held their breath when enforcer Dale Finucane left the field in the 11th minute with a rib injury, but were relieved when he returned later in the match needled and strapped up, ready to go.

After a scrum feed following a Manly fumble gave the Sharks great field possession, they got close to the Sea Eagles’ line thanks to some fancy footwork from Lachlan Miller. The next tackle saw front rower Royce Hunt storm over for the visitor’s second try.

Manly had their best opportunity of the game so far to return serve, quickly storming up field and earning back-to-back sets on the Cronulla line. But they couldn’t break through the defensive line and turned the ball over.

In the blink of an eye, they were back down the other end, but some desperate Sea Eagles defence stopped Connor Tracey getting the Sharks’ third try of the night.

When Moylan barged his way over the Manly try line shortly after, it was sent upstairs as a no-try. The replays showed the Shark planting the ball down, and the try was awarded.

Moylan even mimicked a referee pointing to the spot, knowing he has scored. Hynes added the extras and the Sharks were out to an 18-0 lead.

Some desperate defence by Manly followed by a penalty and set restart and a scrum gave the Sea Eagles a chance just before half-time. But a Brad Parker dropped ball on the first tackle quashed any chances of scoring.

The Sharks took advantage of the error, quickly making their way downfield. A long cut-out pass from Hynes found winger Matt Ikuvalu who crossed in the corner for the Sharks fourth try of the night, and the visitors went to the break leading 22-0.

The second half didn’t start well for Manly, when Alfred Smalley put down a catch and gave the Sharks a set inside the Sea Eagles ten. Thankfully for the home side they were able to get through the six tackles without conceding any more points.

A perfectly weighted 40/20 from none other than Hynes got Manly once again on the back foot. They were once again able to weather the storm when Moylan tried to barge over for his second try of the night, but replays showed he was held up.

It didn’t take long for Sharks to get the green light, when a short pass from Moylan found Andrew Fifita, who quickly offloaded to Hynes to score in the corner. He converted his own try, and Cronulla were out to a 28-0 lead.

Only minutes later they were at it again, when a Hynes kick to the corner was tapped back by Ikuvalu and picked up by Briton Nikora to score. Ikuvalu had his name back in light, crossing for his second when Smalley couldn’t gather the ball in his in goal.

With the possibility of being held to nil looking more certain, Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans helped his team avoid that embarrassment. Crossing for their only try from an intercept with three minutes to go, he then went on to convert his own try for a 40-6 score line.

But it was little comfort by then.





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