The under-fire Manly Sea Eagles have bounced back with a stirring two-point win over the Melbourne Storm.
Manly was smashed in round one by Parramatta and has lost star halfback Daly Cherry-Evans to Gold Coast next year. Five-eighth Keiran Foran is also tipped to leave, with the Eels his 2016 destination.
But the Sea Eagles have ended a tough week in a good note, grabbing their first win of 2015 but seeing off a fast-finishing Melbourne.
Manly opened the scoring when Feleti Mateo set up a try for Steve Matai with an awesome offload.
The Sea Eagles were fired up and Dunamis Lui showed their intent when he samshed Young Tonumaipae.
Melbourne hit back soon after, Tonumaipae finding space on the right wing.
Then the Sea Eagles hit the lead again, Daly Cherry-Evans’ smart offload going to Tom Symonds who put Brett Stewart over.
Manly added another two tries before half-time, with another great try coming from impressive teamwork. Cherry-Evans set up Stewart for the fullback’s 79th try.
Then the halfback grubbered and Blake Leary scored on his Sea Eagles debut.
At half-time Manly looked in complete control at 24-6. But Melbourne are never out of any contest.
Despite dealing with some contentious video refereeing decisions, the Storm battled on. First Blake Green forced his way over and then Will Chambers got a four-pointer.
At 24-16 Melbourne was in with a shot. When Green scored with five minutes left the lead was cut to two points.
The Storm looked like they could do it. But Manly just held on by the skin of their teeth and got the victory.
It was a crucial one for the embattled club and came over one of their strongest rivals.