In an unpredictable NRL showdown, the Sydney Roosters somehow managed to overcome a late onslaught by Manly and the dismissal of Nathan Brown to clinch a 26-16 victory. This win inches them closer to solidifying their spot in the NRL finals.
Under the coach-ship of Trent Robinson, the Roosters had an arduous task of defeating Manly Sea Eagles on a chilly Thursday night. The battle unfolded before a crowd of 12,197, eager onlookers stationed at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It’s a testament to the team’s consistency, as they’ve only missed making the top eight once in the past decade.
The gritty win, albeit not the most visually pleasing, serves as a significant morale booster. The Roosters have been trying to inch their way up the leaderboard and this win should serve as a stepping-stone. In the wake of this victory, the Roosters have moved up to the 12th spot. They’re only one victory away from entering the top eight. Their future matches include bouts with the Dolphins, Parramatta, Wests Tigers, and South Sydney.
However, Sydney Roosters‘ Nathan Brown is likely to miss the all-important final season stretch. The former Eels and Tigers forward was shown the red card for a high shot on Manly’s Ben Trbojevic, a little over an hour into the match. Brown was only subbed on 30 seconds prior and with his misaction, the referee was left with no choice but to send him packing.
Despite this setback, the Roosters put on a performance that could be season-defining. Their offence finally showed signs of ignition, aided by the steely resolve returning to their defensive game. The spotlight was on a thrilling first-half double from Daniel Tupou and a dive-over from Joey Manu, which gave the Roosters an 18-2 lead as they headed into half-time.
The only points for Manly in the first half came from a Reuben Garrick penalty goal, with the kicker standing dead centre. Post-break, Joey Manu added another try to his count. Billy Smith in centre-field and winger Joseph Suaalii also managed to get past the Sea Eagles‘ defence.
Manly were intent on retaliating, with the final quarter seeing tries from Brad Parker, Josh Schuster, and Tolutau Koula. Unfortunately for Manly, despite their late resurgence, it was too little too late, as the Roosters managed to hold onto their lead.
Anthony Seibold‘s Eagles were left licking their wounds, landing just a single point above the Roosters despite the defeat. Adding to the disappointment, Matt Lodge, the team prop, bowed out early with a knee injury. This only adds to the laundry list of injured front-rowers, which already includes Josh Aloiai, Taniela Paseka, and Sean Keppie.