Sea Eagles claim GF rematch
The Sea Eagles have moved into third on the competition ladder after keeping last year’s premiers scoreless in a match heavily dominated by defence.
A 26th minute try to Manly’s Cheyse Blair proving the difference as the Sea Eagles protected a six-point lead for most of the match to avenge last year’s grand final heartache.
The 8-0 victory, a demonstration of Manly’s never-say-die attitude, comes just two weeks after claiming the prize scalp of South Sydney in Gosford.
With just four points posted in their most recent installment at Allianz Stadium, it was no surprise when Manly captain Jamie Lyon opted to take the two points following a shoulder charge that may have Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in strife with the match review committee.
Glenn Stewart’s night was cut short as a result of the tackle, forced to leave the field under the NRL’s new concussion law after Waerea-Hargreaves' shoulder connected with the lock’s head.
After failing to score a point in last year’s brutal semi final, the Sea Eagles had their first points on the quarter mark, and their lead grew soon after when winger Blair crossed for his third try of the season.
A trademark Sea Eagles backline movement polished off by Blair who made light work of finding the line.
In a first half dominated by defence, the Sea Eagles took a 6-0 lead into the break, keeping the premiers scoreless.
The Roosters pressed hard in a bid to break the opposition’s brick wall-like defence in the second half, but even Michael Jennings’ best efforts were shut down as he came agonisingly close to scoring.
Doing exceptionally well in defending their six-point lead, the Sea Eagles were given their biggest scare of the night just seven minutes from full time when fullback Peta Hiku gave the Roosters one final sniff following a mistake under the high ball.
And it appeared the Sea Eagles would rue their fullback’s error as the Roosters crossed the line in the ensuing set through Daniel Topou.
However, a contentious no-try decision to rule an obstruction would ultimately end their night as Lyon drilled the final nail into the Roosters’ coffin with a penalty goal right on full time.
Manly defying the odds, hanging on to record a courageous victory against the reigning premiers.