NRL 2021: Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles star Haumole Olakau’atu sets up insane try in win over North Queensland Cowboys
The Sea Eagles’ premiership push has been led by one man, but several supporting stars on The Tom Trbojevic Show have turned in impressive breakout seasons in 2021.
Young second rower Haumole Olakau’atu is in that category — he only cracked double figures for NRL appearances this year but a deft try assist in Saturday’s clash with the Cowboys showed the depth of his talent.
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With the result hanging in the balance, veteran halfback Daly Cherry-Evans sent a grubber into the in-goal that appeared too long. Olakau’atu didn’t think so.
The 22-year-old chased the ball down, and as it bounced dead, batted it back to Jake Trbojevic for an insane four-pointer.
The move was reminiscent of Greg Inglis’ try assist in the 2008 Centenary Test — but this time, it was a young second-rower, not a seasoned utility back, moonlighting as an acrobat.
Footy pundits could hardly believe their eyes.
“Holey moley!” Fox League commentator Andrew Voss cried.
“Look at this … in normal speed, it is an absolute fraction of a second before the foot hist the ground again.”
Penrith Panthers great Greg Alexander continued: “That is an incredible piece of work
“The length of his legs and certainly helped him. They played a part, but very athletic from the Manly back-rower to get that back in.
“Olakau’atu pulls off a miracle, an absolute miracle, to get the ball back in.”
With little to play for, the Cowboys brought the heat on Saturday and, sensationally, came within six points of the premiership aspirants early in the second half.
As he so often has this season, though, Tom Trbojevic came to the Sea Eagles’ rescue. With its 28-point win, Manly locked up its first top-four finish since 2014.
The Sea Eagles will meet the Storm in the first week of the finals series.
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