NRL: Hiku scores four tries to celebrate NZ selection

Peta Hiku. Photo / Getty Images
Peta Hiku. Photo / Getty Images

Manly thrashed Canberra 54-18 at Brookvale Oval in Sydney yesterday with new Kiwis fullback selection Peta Hiku scoring four tries 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 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 No13 for years.

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 the Melbourne Storm.

Hiku added his fourth in the 58th minute in a stunning display which would have signed and sealed his selection in the Kiwis for this week's Anzac test. Hiku, whom the Warriors recently wanted to sign as a centre for next year, looks likely to wear the No1 jersey for his country after an impressive 2014 campaign for the Sea Eagles.

Jack Littlejohn made his NRL debut in place of injured Kiwis 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 centre Lyon landed his seventh conversion from as many attempts.

The Gold Coast scored three tries to one as they beat Wests Tigers 22-6 at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney.

The Tigers, who have stunned experts with their early season form, were no match for the high-flying Titans, who led throughout and seemed to have learned a lot from their 42-12 loss to the Michael Potter-coached team in round two.

- AAP

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