The Sydney Roosters have crafted a superb, low-scoring 4-0 win over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles tonight at Allianz Stadium to advance to week three.
After controversy in the first double header match between Cronulla-Sutherland and North Queensland, both the Roosters and Sea Eagles delivered a fantastic spectacle despite the lack of points, with both sides offering up amazing defence over the full eighty minutes.
The only points of the game saw Roosters' winger Roger Tuivasa-Sheck cross out wide, pouncing on a James Maloney grubber before his opponents to get the Roosters 4-0 in front after just 11 minutes.
From there the remaining 69 minutes were a blend of exciting and exhausting play, some bone-crunching defence which delivered errors and penalties aplenty (the final penalty count was 12-5 to the Sea Eagles).
The second half was dominated by the Sea Eagles in field position, but they simply couldn't get over the line with "The Wall" of Roosters defence just not giving way. Several chances late in the game for the trailing side were either handed over on the last, or worse still handling errors. The telling factor at the end came in the completion rates, with the Roosters completing 77% of their sets to Manly's 67%.
Both sides will be exhausted but they each march on - the Roosters have a week off and will face the winner of the Storm v Bulldogs or Knights clash in the Preliminary Finals. Meanwhile, the Sea Eagles have a 6 day turnaround to host Cronulla next Friday at Allianz Stadium.
Sydney Roosters 4 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 0
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Crowd: 32747 (Double Header event with Sharks v Cowboys)
Halftime Score: Sydney Roosters 4-0
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Maloney
2 points - Daly Cherry-Evans
1 point - Peta Hiku
SYDNEY ROOSTERS (4)
Tries: Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
Conversions: James Maloney (0/1)
MANLY-WARRINGAH SEA EAGLES (0)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary
Sea Eagles - Brett Stewart as expected has been ruled out, Peta Hiku starts at fullback in jersey #19. David Williams comes on the wing. Jamie Buhrer on bench for David Gower.
Roosters: 1. Anthony Minichiello 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Michael Jennings 4. Shaun Kenny-Dowall 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. James Maloney 7. Mitchell Pearce 18. Luke O'Donnell 9. Jake Friend 10. Sam Moa 11. Mitchell Aubusson 12. Sonny Bill Williams 13. Frank-Paul Nuuausala
Interchange: 14. Daniel Mortimer 15. Aidan Guerra 17. Dylan Napa 19. Martin Kennedy
Sea Eagles: 19. Peta Hiku 2. Jorge Taufua 3. Jamie Lyon 4. Steve Matai 5. David Williams 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Brenton Lawrence 9. Matt Ballin 10. Brent Kite 11. Anthony Watmough 12. Justin Horo 13. Glenn Stewart
Interchange: 14. Richie Fa'aoso 15. Tom Symonds 17. George Rose 20. Jamie Buhrer
Scored by Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Conversion attempt by James Maloney unsuccessful.
It's awarded! Great James Maloney grubber and RTS gets to it before the dead ball line, the minor premiers are on the board first. Maloney misses the sideline conversion attempt.
Sydney Roosters 4-0
Brent Kite makes an unforced error.
Ahhhh... Manly looking so ready to cross the line but it comes back to Kite and he can't hold it. Roosters scrum.
Michael Jennings makes an unforced error.
Tupou misses a bomb catch and the lightest of touches has Jennings knocking on. Manly scrum. And from the scrum, Roosters bat it down... another Manly scrum!