Manly have thrashed Canberra 54-18 at Brookvale Oval in an emphatic response to the midweek news of Glenn Stewart’s departure.
Sea Eagles halfback Daly Cherry-Evans had a hand in six of Manly’s seven first-half tries in a sublime playmaking performance on Sunday as they jumped out to a 42-0 lead after 34 minutes.
Glenn Stewart, who signed with South Sydney on Tuesday, limped off with an ankle injury in the eighth minute and returned midway through the second half.
Jamie Lyon departed with a knee injury in the 54th minute and didn’t return.
In a tribute to Stewart, the appreciative home crowd clapped for the entire 13th minute in honour of the two-time premiership winner, who has worn the Manly No.13 for years.
Before 8,817 fans on a sodden ground after morning showers, Canberra scored a try either side of halftime but were humiliated in a dismal display a week after a dramatic final-minute win over Melbourne.
Peta Hiku added his fourth in the 58th minute and Jorge Taufua brought up the half century with a somersaulting effort as he planted the ball under the posts.
Jack Littlejohn made his NRL debut in place of injured five-eighth Kieran Foran (knee) but Manly didn’t miss a beat as they put the woeful Raiders to the sword.
Hiku opened the scoring in just the fourth minute on the back of a looping Cherry-Evans pass, while Jamie Lyon, Brenton Lawrence and Anthony Watmough all crossed before 15 minutes were up.
Hiku added his second in the 24th minute and Brett Stewart grabbed his first try of the year five minutes later.
Hiku then swooped again for his third four-pointer and Lyon landing his seventh conversion from as many attempts.
Reece Robinson scored for the Raiders four minutes before halftime when he picked up a loose Brett Stewart pass and ran 65m for a halftime score of 42-4.
The visitors scored off a loose Glenn Stewart pass in the 53rd minute through centre Jarrod Croker who converted his own try for a 42-10 scoreline.
Hiku then added his fourth and Steve Matai converted five minutes later.
Taufua’s try was followed by a consolation effort from Raiders playmaker Jack Wighton in the 75th minute and interchange Josh McCrone in the 79th minute.