The Sydney Roosters have once again experienced a devastating defeat, with Manly clinging on for an 18-16 victory at 4 Pines Park on Sunday. Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans played a leading role, scoring two tries, including an intercept just before halftime to snatch the lead. Despite Roosters captain James Tedesco responding to criticism about his position at fullback with an impressive performance, it was Cherry-Evans who claimed the win. He anticipated a Luke Keary pass perfectly late in the first half to sprint away and secure the halftime lead.
Commentator Michael Ennis praised Cherry-Evans, describing him as a champion halfback who is always a step ahead of his opponents. Ennis couldn’t believe that Keary threw the pass, as Cherry-Evans was so far out of the defensive line. Greg Alexander also criticised Keary at halftime, calling his throw “complacent.” Former Roosters half Braith Anasta labeled it a “brain explosion” that gifted Manly the halftime advantage.
In the post-match press conference, Manly coach Anthony Seibold lauded Cherry-Evans as the team’s best player this year, highlighting his ability to lead the team amidst distractions like the State of Origin series.
The pivotal moment of the match came when Roosters‘ Joey Manu scored early in the second half, but the team couldn’t secure a decisive blow. This allowed Ben Trbojevic to sneak through and give Manly the lead with just 10 minutes remaining. The intense finish continued until the final minute when the Sea Eagles were deemed to have knocked on their own line. However, the Roosters couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, and Manly’s Christian Tuipulotu knocked Keary’s last-gasp kick dead to seal their victory.
Despite an impressive performance from the Roosters, coach Trent Robinson acknowledged that execution let them down. He was pleased to see the team play in their signature style but acknowledged that it was not enough on the night. With this loss, the Roosters have fallen to 13th place on the ladder, while Manly has moved up to 11th, both teams still within reach of the finals.