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Williams grabs hat-trick for Manly

Winger David Williams has bagged a first-half hat-trick as a switched on Manly overcame an early injury setback to lead Melbourne 20-4 at halftime at Brookvale Oval.
Williams grabs hat-trick for Manly
by AAP

By Adrian Warren

SYDNEY, Aug 31 AAP - Winger David Williams has bagged a first-half hat-trick as a switched on Manly overcame an early injury setback to lead Melbourne 20-4 at halftime at Brookvale Oval.

Starting Saturday's penultimate round NRL game just behind the third-placed Storm on for and against, Manly produced a scorching start, piling on 12 points in the first 13 minutes to surge to a 20-0 lead.

A besieged and uncharacteristically mistake-ridden Melbourne hardly had any ball in Manly territory in that time.

Manly lost back-rower Jamie Buhrer after little more than 70 seconds after he appeared to suffer a rib injury after being caught in an awkward tackle between Ryan Hoffman and Ryan Hinchcliffe.

Buhrer was reportedly taken to hospital for X-rays.

Within half a minute of Buhrer leaving the ground, Manly had their first try, with Williams crossing after Melbourne forward Jesse Bromwich lost the ball in the opening set.

Playing with confidence and precision the rampant Sea Eagles were in again in the ninth minute, when fullback Brett Stewart was set up by brother Glenn.

Melbourne finally showed some attacking menace, with forward Kevin Proctor held up over the line by five-eighth Kieran Foran and Brett Stewart saving a try, with a great tackle on winger Justin O'Neill.

Back-rower Glenn Stewart then set up two identical tries in three minutes for Williams.

The Wolfman crossed twice in a matter of minutes to expand his tally for the season to 17, after Manly players knocked back high crossfield kicks from Foran.

Two minutes before the break, Melbourne finally got on the board when winger Sisa Waqa beat opposing winger Peta Hiku to a perfectly weighted kick from fullback Billy Slater.




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