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Manly crush Raiders 36-22

Steve Matai

Manly have all but ended Canberra's finals hopes with a 36-22 win in their NRL clash at Canberra Stadium.
Manly crush Raiders 36-22
by AAP

By David Barbeler

CANBERRA, Aug 25 AAP - Manly have all but ended Canberra's finals hopes with a 36-22 win in their NRL clash at Canberra Stadium.

The Sea Eagles edged one step closer to locking down a top four finals berth, while the 12th-placed Raiders are now only a mathematical possibility of making the top eight due to their poor for-and-against record.

Minus star players Terry Campese, Blake Ferguson and Jack Wighton, the Raiders capped off a tumultuous week, in which coach David Furner was sacked, by slumping to their fourth straight loss.

Manly flew out of the blocks with four first half tries, three of which were through some brittle Raiders edge defence.

Manly playmakers Daly Cherry-Evans and Kieran Foran were superb, throwing the last pass or kick in the majority of their side's six tries.

The cracks in the Raiders' line were evident from the get-go, Jamie Lyon finding success in the 13th minute and then bagging his second try just four minutes later when he pounced on a deft grubber from halfback Cherry-Evans.

Cherry-Evans' boot continued to dictate proceedings with a 40-20 kick the following set, fullback Peter Hiku scoring five tackles later, before Jamie Buhrer crossed in the 30th minute to give the visitors a 24-0.

Looking down and out, the Raiders launched a desperate bid to keep their season alive and scored a Joel Thompson try in the 37th minute.

Steve Matai was then sent to the sin bin right on halftime for a professional foul when he held Raiders five-eighth Anthony Milford down for too long.

Canberra made the most of their numerical advantage, Reece Robinson scoring in the right corner in the 44th minute following a Milford 40-20 to make it a 12-point deficit.

However with Matai back on the field, Manly moved quickly to close out any hopes of a dramatic comeback through a try to Anthony Watmough.

The two sides traded tries until full time, however Canberra only ever managed to get within 12 points of the visitors.

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