aplenty but Moi Moi's brilliant cameo proves decisive
Jacquelin Magnay - www.smh.com.au
19 Apr '04
Manly coach Des Hasler described it as a "tough
call", while Parramatta coach Brian Smith reckoned
it was "time luck ran our way . . . my heart jumped
out the window at that point".
But the touch judge made a brave decision at the foot of
the Manly hill to rule a forward pass after Sea Eagles
centre Albert Torrens had crossed the try line for what
could well have been the matchwinner. A try would have
put the hosts ahead 30-28 with 3½ minutes to play but,
as the home fans in the 13,888-strong crowd and the Manly
players were celebrating what would have been their
second win of the season, referee Sean Hampstead - about
to award the try - got the call. Parramatta's David
Vaealiki then sealed victory with a try.
"If the call came from the far side of the field
from someone looking into a blazing sun, it was a tough
call," Hasler said.
"Some say if the technology is there then use it [by
going to the video replay], but some purists might say
the linesman should not have a call and it is the ref's
But typical of recent matches between Parramatta and
Manly, this was a slugfest of dropped ball, wrong
decisions and silly mistakes. Yet it was also wildly
entertaining with a swag of surprises.
The drama started before the whistle was blown, with
Parramatta's Dean Widders hauled from the field and Luke
O'Dwyer hastily running on after a mix-up with the
starting line-up. Minutes later O'Dwyer may have wished
he had remained sidelined for the initial stanza as he
was hammered in his first touch of the ball by a
crunching tackle from Sea Eagles prop Kylie Leuluai.
Smith said the line-up was an embarrassment and he
deserved to be ridiculed for it. "The coach will be
duly censured," he said.
But to be fair, benchman Adam Peek was about to be stood
down at the last minute when he suffered an asthma attack
during the warm-up but then decided to play, confusing
the exact make-up of the team.
Indeed, as the game progressed Parramatta were left with
few forwards standing after Michael Vella injured his
knee cartilage, Fui Fui Moi Moi damaged his ribs and
Chris Armit limped off with a knee problem.
Early in the match, Manly rocketed to a 14-0 lead only to
squander it when Moi Moi came on and fired up the
Parramatta pack. Three quick tries ensued.
"We were shocking that first 15 to 20 minutes,"
"If it was a boxing match there would not have been
any need to throw in the towel. They would have dragged
us out by the soles of our feet.
"Moi Moi changed the game single-handedly. He
changed the momentum. It was a cameo appearance of some
But fleet-footed winger Eric Grothe also had a dramatic
In the 53rd minute he gathered a high cross-field kick
then charged 85 metres to score and put Parramatta ahead
for the first time.
"It is good to get a long-range one. It gets the
metres up and looks good on the stats," Grothe said.
In the close tussle, Manly had significant opportunities
to score but failed at the vital point.
Hasler could only roll his eyes and mutter about deja vu
and the closeness of the scoreline.
"We will get a victory sooner rather than
later," he said.
(N Cayless A Dykes E Grothe M Petersen C Stapleton D
Vaealiki tries L Burt 4 goals) bt
(K Cleal S Harris S Menzies A Walker tries A Walker 5
at Brookvale Oval.
Referee: S Hampstead.
1 - Andrew WALKER
2 - Scott DONALD
3 - Albert TORRENS
4 - Steve MENZIES
5 - Chris HICKS
6 - Jye MULLANE
7 - Michael MONAGHAN
8 - Daniel HECKENBERG
9 - Chad RANDALL
10- Ian DONNELLY
11- Sam HARRIS
12- Nathan TUTT
13- Luke WILLIAMSON
14- Kylie LEULUAI
15 - Kane CLEAL
16- Anthony WATMOUGH
17- Shane DUNLEY
18. Solomon HAUMONO