Manly’s Tom Trbojevic has warmed up for next Sunday’s State of Origin with another stunning performance, as the Sea Eagles scored a 56-24 win over a hapless Gold Coast outfit.
In Sunday afternoon’s earlier result, Parramatta triumphed 36-10 over Canterbury.
On the Gold coast, Trbojevic scored a hat-trick and set up two more as the Sea Eagles logged eight second-half tries to come from 24-8 down to beat the Titans.
Along with the New South Wales State of Origin star’s sensational display, winger Reuben Garrick scored four tries and Jason Saab grabbed a double to take his tally to 13 tries this season.
Garrick’s haul, along with his six goals, means he has scored 48 points by himself against the Titans this season after their 36-0 win in Mudgee earlier this year.
He also joins club legends such as Bob Fulton, Ken Irvine, Steve Menzies and Phil Blake to score four tries in one match for the Sea Eagles.
Only Les Hanigan has scored more in one game for Manly with five against Cronulla in 1967.
The victory was iced by captain Daly Cherry-Evans, who scored the final try of the thrashing in his 250th appearance for the club.
It is the third time in five weeks Manly have passed 50 points. All three results came against the three Queensland teams.
The Titans, who have now won just one of their past six matches, would have been dreaming of an upset result when youngster Jayden Campbell starred in the first half.
The son of ex-Titan Preston Campbell scored his first NRL try to open the scoring.
A quick-fire Trbojevic double put Manly into an 8-6 lead before the home team then ran in four tries to take a strong lead into the half-time break.
That advantage was gone within 20 minutes as the Titans’ defence went to water, with the Sea Eagles cementing sixth place on the ladder with their eighth win of the season.
The Titans are now languishing in 13th place with five wins and 10 losses from their 15 matches.
Eels get past Bulldogs
Parramatta has proven why it is a more composed team than in recent seasons by surviving a scare to kill off last-placed Canterbury at the Western Sydney Stadium.
Down 10-6 at half-time, the Eels produced a 30-point second half to stay third on the ladder with Mitch Moses and Isaiah Papali’i starring.
In the past, Parramatta may have panicked and gone chasing points after falling behind against a side it was tipped to beat.
But this time the Eels held firm as the Bulldogs quite literally threw their advantage away.
With all the momentum before the break, the match swung when Canterbury made a meal of a last-tackle play five minutes into the second half.
After halfback Brandon Wakeham passed straight into Dylan Napa, the Bulldogs prop inexplicably let the ball lay unclaimed on the ground before Moses pounced.
Moses kicked the loose ball forward and was taken out by Wakeham in pursuit, handing Parramatta a clear penalty try.
From there, it was the Eels who dominated as they enjoyed having 74 per cent of the ball in the second half.
Their lead was out to eight moments later when Nathan Brown went to the line and put Shaun Lane through a hole, before Junior Paulo later sent Reagan Campbell-Gillard across.
The last of those tries came while Bulldogs prop Luke Thompson was in the sin-bin after play was called back to penalise him for a late shot on Dylan Brown.
Debutant Sean Russell also bagged a double late, as a result of two nice balls from Clint Gutherson on the left edge.
Papali’i was also superb, running 194 metres on the left edge and busting 11 tackles.
The Eels’ big win at one stage looked in doubt.
After the Bulldogs withstood Parramatta’s early ball while only conceding a Ryan Matterson try to a kick, they looked the better side.
Napa ended a 44-match try scoring drought when he collected a fumbled Jake Averilo kick to dot down.
With Marata Niukore sin-binned for a high shot on Josh Jackson, Wakeham then took full advantage when he put Tui Katoa over with a lofted ball for his winger.
But that ultimately amounted to little, as the Bulldogs missed out on their first back-to-back wins since 2019.
Adding further insult to injury, back rower Adam Elliott also suffered a fractured cheekbone.
Eels hooker Nathaniel Roache also suffered a knee injury in his first NRL match in two years, while Nathan Brown finished the game on report for a high shot.