Photo by Colin Whelan copyright © nrlphotos.com :   Justin Horo steps away from Anthony Minichiello     NRL Rugby League, Telstra Cup Round 4 Sydney Roosters v Manly Warringah Sea Eagles at SFS, Friday March 28th  2014.

Sea Eagles grind out 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 prized scalp of South Sydney in Gosford.  

With just four points posted in their last outing at Allianz Stadium, it was no surprise when Captain Jamie Lyon opted to take the two points following a shoulder charge that will probabaly leave Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in trouble with the match review committee.

Glenn Stewart’s night was cut short as a result of the tackle, forced to leave the field and stadium early with concussion.

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 saw their lead grow shortly after when winger Cheyse Blair crossed for his third try of the season.

A trademark Sea Eagles backline movement polished off by Blair who made his charge to the line look easier than it was.

In a first half dominated by defence, the Sea Eagles took a slender 6-0 lead.

The Roosters pressed hard in a bid to break the opposition’s defence in the second half, but even Michael Jennings’ best efforts were shut down on the line, spilling the ball at the crucial moment.

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 sole error of the night, with the Chooks crossing the line in the ensuing play through Daniel Topou.

However, a contentious no-try decision (obstruction) would ultimately end their night as Lyon drilled the final nail into the Roosters’ coffin with a penalty goal on the final siren.

The Sea Eagles defied the odds and hung on to record a courageous victory against the reigning premiers.