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Manly goes top in NRL with 26-0 win over Cronulla

June 22, 2014

SYDNEY (AP) — Reserve forward Tom Symonds scored two tries with his first two touches of the ball to help Manly to a 26-0 win over Cronulla, lifting them to the top of the table after the 15th round of Australia’s National Rugby League.

Symonds scored in the 54th and 56th minutes with both tries laid on by Daly Cherry-Evans who recovered quickly from his disappointment of being part of a Queensland side beaten by New South Wales in the midweek State of Origin.

Jamie Lyon scored 10 points from a try and three goals to move past Matthew Ridge into third place on the Manly club’s all-time points-scoring list.

Cronulla stumbled to its fifth-straight loss and were kept scoreless for the third consecutive match to stay one spot off the bottom of the ladder.

Second-placed Penrith, third-placed Souths and the fourth-placed Roosters all had byes in a 15th round split by the State of Origin clash on Wednesday.

The Bulldogs moved to fifth with a 22-14 win over Canberra in the match that opened the round while the New Zealand Warriors beat sixth-placed Brisbane 19-10, ending the Broncos’ four-match winning streak.

Melbourne moved to seventh with a 46-20 win over Parramatta.

Cronulla’s failure to score in matches against Manly, Souths and St. George Illawarra — and a total of 270 minutes without a point — amounts to the longest scoreless streak in NRL history. The Sharks last scored in the 50th minute of their match against Wests in round 10.

“We’re massively down on confidence and massively down on cohesion in our play,” Cronulla coach Peter Sharp said. “Everything that could go wrong is going wrong.

“We’re trying hard but for me we just need to get personnel back on the training park, which is not happening on a regular basis.”

Melbourne fullback Billy Slater returned from a month-long absence to score two tries, provide two assists and to run for 152 meters in the Storms’ comprehensive win over Parramatta.

Slater moved to third place on the NRL’s all-time tryscoring lists alongside Andrew Ettinghausen.

Rookie Kurt Mann and Fijian-born winger Sisa Waqa also bagged doubles, with Mann’s pair giving him five tries from six games.

The Warriors ground out their win over Brisbane after falling behind 6-0 in the first 20 minutes.

“It was a pretty hard fought win I thought,” Warriors coach Andrew McFadden said. “I certainly think we have played better footy, but to get the two points in a scrappy affair was what we needed at this time of the year.”

St. George Illawarra beat Gold Coast 19-18 and Newcastle plays North Queensland on Monday.

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