Shaun Johnson put on a masterclass in his return from injury against Manly.
Shaun Johnson put on a masterclass in his return from injury against Manly.

Johnson proves there’s no place like home

DALY Cherry-Evans was accused of "failing to deliver'' after a Manly reject outshined the Sea Eagles' $10 million man during a 34-14 flogging to the Warriors.

On a night that saw New Zealand re-emerge as a premiership threat, Cherry-Evans was slammed for going missing as cut priced Warriors pick-up Blake Green helped spark an attacking riot.

The former Sea Eagle was instrumental in Saturday night's AMI Park blitz that saw the Warriors pile on 34 consecutive points after Manly jumped away to an 8-0 lead.

Meanwhile Cherry Evans was kicking the ball into touch in a come-from-behind tactic that has once again put the controversial half at the centre of a storm.

Braith Anasta led the charge with the former Australian No.6 player declaring that Cherry Evans - who signed a $10m nine-year contract with Manly in 2015 - had not delivered on his salary.

"As soon as he gets behind he does not deliver,'' Anasta said.

"It sounds harsh but I am just going off what I have seen from him in 2018. It is just not good enough.''

Manly looked set to cause an upset in the home match they took to Christchurch after Apisai Koroisau dived between legs to score the first try in the fourth minute.

Trent Hodkinson extended the lead to 8-0 in the 21st minute by landing a penalty goal.

But then they capitulated.

Tom Trbojevic bravely backed up from Origin but couldn’t save the Sea Eagles/
Tom Trbojevic bravely backed up from Origin but couldn’t save the Sea Eagles/

In an attacking blitz that has sounded a warning to premiership hotshots like St George Illawarra and Penrith, the Warriors scored six tries in 41 minutes to send the Sea Eagles into a spin.

David Fusitua scored three tries during the blitz that was led by Green, Issac Luke and Shaun Johnson.

NRL journeyman Green laid on two tries during the onslaught while producing a pin-point accurate kicking game that gave Sea Eagles winger Akuila Uate nightmares.

Ending a month of mediocrity and putting them back in the hunt for the minor premiership, Isaiah Papali'i began the point scoring spree when he danced his way past Shaun Lane to score the Warriors first try in the 24th minute.

Tohu Harris was very strong for the Warriors claiming a try of his own.
Tohu Harris was very strong for the Warriors claiming a try of his own.

Tohu Harris (29th minute) and Johnson (43rd minute) then crossed before Fusitua broke the game apart with a stunning hat-trick.

The loss has left the Sea Eagles stranded on eight points.

They face a testing month ahead with NSW State of Origin stars Jake and Tom Trjobevic to miss at least two clashes.

Manly take on the Dragons next week at WIN Stadium with a side that could also be missing Koroisau after the live wire hooker left the field with a leg injury.

Fresh from his 150th game - where he ran 102m in a dominate comeback game - Johnson will be out to continue the Warriors blitz when they head to Townsville for a clash against the Cowboys who will be heavily affected.

NZ WARRIORS 34 (D Fusitua 3 T Harris S Johnson I Papali'i tries S Johnson 5 goals) bt MANLY 14 (B Kelly A Koroisau tries T Hodkinson 3 goals) at AMI Stadium. Referee: Gavin Reynolds, Chris Sutton. Crowd: 17,357.



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