Brett Stewart and Kieran Foran starred on Friday night as Manly eased pressure on coach Geoff Toovey with a 30-20 win over Wests Tigers.
In front of 8093 fans at Brookvale Oval, the Sea Eagles snapped a three-game NRL losing streak but will likely finish the round still in last spot on the ladder.
Foran was instrumental, setting up two tries and scoring another while Stewart continued his love affair with the Manly home ground, crossing for a double.
Toovey is under pressure to keep his job, with Penrith assistant Trent Barrett reportedly being sized up for the head coaching role.
He still has support in some quarters of the Manly supporters. Before kickoff, a group of fans was collecting signatures on a petition for Toovey to be retained, despite the Sea Eagles winning just four of their opening 13 games and fighting to avoid their first wooden spoon.
The Sea Eagles took an 18-10 lead into halftime after Foran set up Manly’s first two before scoring in the shadows of the break.
The Tigers dragged themselves back into the contest through Mitchell Moses and Pat Richards however Foran was the decisive factor.
He put in an inch-perfect kick for Steve Matai before Feleti Mateo put the dynamic five-eighth over in the 39th minute.
Daly Cherry-Evans came into the game under scrutiny after an underwhelming performance for Queensland in State of Origin II on Wednesday night and gave his critics further ammo when he dropped the ball over the line.
However, the No.7 atoned a few minutes later when he kicked ahead for Stewart after getting around the Tigers’ defence, with the Prince of Brookvale bringing up his eighth try in five games at Manly’s home ground and his 10th overall this season.
Kevin Naiqama gave the Tigers a sniff to reduce the margin to 24-14, however Cherry-Evans orchestrated a try for Ligi Sao, who crossed for his second NRL four-pointer.
The Tigers surged late, scoring via Moses before Tim Simona was denied by the video referee, but the Sea Eagles hung on.
The Brookvale ground held up well despite heavy rain during the day which forced the under-20s match to be moved. The Brookvale pitch came in for criticism earlier in the year when it was covered in holes during Manly’s round-three match with Canterbury.
Manly’s Dunamis Lui and the Tigers’ Chris Lawrence were both put on report for alleged crusher tackles.
Tigers centre David Nofoaluma’s season appears to be over after suffering a knee injury late in the first half.