Crazy comeback in ridiculous NRL collapse

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STANDOUT performances from their halves on a day when it was announced club legend Benji Marshall was returning home

The Tigers trailed 20-6 at halftime at Leichhardt Oval after first-half try doubles to Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans and winger Akila Uate. The home team roared back after the break and completed a stirring recovery with winger Malakai Watene-Zelezniak, playing opposite Uate, crossing for the winning try with less than two minutes to play.

If the halftime margin had been maintained, Manly would have finished the round in fourth spot on the ladder and the Tigers would’ve been last below Newcastle. Instead, Manly remained in seventh and coach Trent Barrett admitted the loss could have devastating consequences for his side’s top-four aspirations. The comeback rounded off a great day for the Tigers, who earlier announced playmaker Marshall would return next season to the club he played just over 200 games for in 11 seasons and helped to their 2005 premiership. Halfback Luke Brooks and five-eighth Tuimoal Lolohea showed Marshall might not get a saloon passage back into the side as they were at the forefront of the Tigers’ second-half revival.

They were part of a first half effort Tigers coach Ivan Cleary described as “all over the shop” but lifted noticeably after the break.

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Huge.Source:Getty Images

“Tui when he scored, that’s his thing,” Cleary said.

“I think if he understands that when he does that more, good things are going to happen, so hopefully (that’s) a great breakthrough for him in that regard. “But I thought Luke today was really good. Just about every play he did had meaning to it, and he was composed more than I’ve seen before, so hopefully that’s a bit of a go-ahead game for him as well.” Both coaches felt Manly’s halftime lead flattered the visitors, who scored 20 unanswered points after the Tigers led 6-0 and dominated early on. “We just kept inviting them back into the contest,” Barrett said. “The crowd gets behind them and in the end it just felt like that was coming and it did.” The Tigers got late momentum after David Nofoaluma intercepted two Tom Trbojevic passes.

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What happened, boys?Source:Getty Images

Their revival started when centre Kevin Naiqama and Lolohea crossed for tries. However Tigers fullback James Tedesco dropped the restart kick after Lolohea’s try and Manly capitalised to post another try.

The Tigers rallied again and cut the gap to two with 18 minutes to go after Sauaso Sue charged over the line.

Manly centre Brad Parker suffered an anterior cruciate ligament knee injury near the end, while the Tigers played much of the match without hooker Matt McIlwrick, who suffered concussion.

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Article Crazy comeback in ridiculous NRL collapse compiled by www.news.com.au

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