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James Tedesco claimed a hat-trick of tries and David Nofoaluma bagged a brace as Wests Tigers defeated Manly Sea Eagles 36-22 in the final match of NRL round two.
Momentum changed regularly in a highly entertaining game before 11,269 fans at Leichhardt Oval, but the Tigers were deserved winners with Tedesco and Mitchell Moses playing lead hands. Key Manly recruit Martin Taupau was the visitors' best in his first match against his former club and scored a deserved consolation try late.
The Tigers dominated the opening quarter to lead 16-2 after 32 minutes on the back of tries from Nofoaluma, Kevin Naiqama and Tedesco. Moses kicked beautifully for Nofoaluma to score, Naiqama's try was all of his own making as he sliced through the Sea Eagles' line, and Tedesco finished off another Naiqama break.
Manly's sole score was a third-minute penalty goal from Jamie Lyon until Lewis Brown burrowed over from dummy-half in the 32nd minute. That score saw the visitors wrestle momentum their way, and Dylan Walker then palmed off Moses and Kyle Lovett to score in the 37th minute for the halftime score of 16-10. And Manly were back on level terms two minutes after the restart when Lyon converted a try by Jorge Taufua.
The Sea Eagles has all the running only for the game to turn on an error from Taupau.
Moses had put through a poor kick on a last tackle and the visitors had the ball on the 35m line, but Taupau was penalised for a shoulder charge on Moses and Jordan Rankin crossed out wide from the ensuing set of six to put the home side back in front.
Nofoaluma scored his second with a sweet step nine minutes later, and the Tigers were ahead 24-16. Tedesco sealed the win with his second four-pointer with nine minutes remaining, adding his third in the 78th minute.
The Tigers, who beat the Warriors in round one, join South Sydney, Brisbane, Canterbury, Melbourne and Canberra as the undefeated teams after two rounds. Manly were much improved after their poor first round loss to Canterbury, but they enter round three without a victory.